Navigation Links
How pitching changes little leaguers' shoulders

At this year's Little League World Series, new rules for the first time forced players to limit the number of times pitchers could throw the ball, and coaches had to strategize how pitchers were used more carefully.

Under the old system, a pitcher age 12 and under could throw up to six innings per week and six innings per game. But in response to an increase in reported cases of young pitchers experiencing arm and shoulder problems, this year the Little League instituted pitch limits rather than innings limits, and required specific rest periods when a pitcher reached the threshold of pitches delivered in a day. Under the new rules, anyone who throws more than 20 pitches in a day needs to rest a day before he can pitch again. If pitchers throw 85 pitches in a day, they must rest at least three days before pitching again.

When Dr. Scott Mair and colleagues at the University of Kentucky began research into what throwing really does to young arms and shoulders seven years ago, they had many questions about those physical changes since most research until then had focused only on adult players. Now that their research is complete, Mair has those answers, along with one surprising finding.

To evaluate these adaptive changes, the study followed 32 male baseball players between 13 and 21 years of age for six years to study changes in the shoulder's range of motion and strength, along with any growth plate changes shown by X-ray images.

What the researchers found was that repeated pitching does cause changes in the upper arm bone and soft tissue in the shoulders of young baseball players, but that these types of changes generally help protect players from injury, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. Mair said these changes may actually allow for better throwing velocity and less injuries to the shoulder.

"However," he cautioned, "pitching too much and playing year-round can push those adaptive changes to the point of injury. Young men in particular may be prone to injury, because some play the game year-round, and because the bones and muscles in their arms are still growing and changing."

One surprise finding in the study was that X-rays showed changes in the growth plate in the throwing shoulder in almost all of the kids. In the past it had been thought that these types of changes only occurred when there was a problem and resulted in pain with throwing.

Overall, Mair said parents of young baseball players shouldn't be overly concerned about their children's shoulders. "Throwing is fine as long as it's in moderation and the parents and child use common sense," he said. "A 10-year-old pitcher shouldn't be throwing through pain to win a Little League game, for example."

Young players do need a break from throwing, Mair said. In the old days kids played baseball in the summer and then played basketball or football in the winter. "That was better for growing children because varying the sports used different muscles and movements," he said. "But now, some children play only baseball year-round, and that can be a problem. It can cause shoulder changes that go beyond normal adaptation, and can lead to pain and even growth plate injuries."

"Kids that are pitching in three different leagues and pitching 12 months of the year tend to get growth plate problems that turn into a source of pain," Mair said.

Jim Madaleno, a senior athletic trainer for the UK Department of Athletics and father of a 14-year-old son who was part of Mair's study, knows all too well about the variety of pain that can come with playing sports. "Aches and pains are a part of it, but when an ache and a pain become significant enough that it alters how you're doing your everyday activity, then you should consult a physician," he said.

Now that this part of the research is complete, Mair said there's still a lot of work to be done in finding out how the growth plate responds to throwing, how to keep kids from being injured, determining pitch counts and days of rest needed, and in educating kids, parents and coaches.

Both Mair and Madaleno agree children shouldn't be pushed to play a sport just because they may be better at it than others. "There needs to be time put aside to let the kids be kids, and not just kids who are in a sport," Madaleno said.


Contact: Hollye Staley
859-323-6363 x252
University of Kentucky

Related medicine news :

1. GlaxoSmithKline - Changes Lamictal(R) Label Appearance and Packaging
2. Drug abuse leads to long standing changes in the brain
3. Inspiring positive life changes
4. FDA changes rules on testing drugs for children
5. Brain changes observed in people with sleep apnoea
6. Changes in cabin pressure pose risks for moms-to-be
7. Teen brain changes increase cigarette addiction
8. Lifestyle changes Can Delay the Onset Of Dementia
9. Lifestyle changes Can Delay the Onset Of Dementia
10. Lifestyle changes Can Delay the Onset Of Dementia
11. Dietary Changes Could Reduce The Risk for Stroke
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a ... episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS ... in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission ... lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” ... the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare ... program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the ... Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ), one of the ... new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support and ... pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... Halo Labs announces the European launch of their new low volume, ... 2017 in Cambridge, U.K on October 4th. ... samples with unprecedented speed and sensitivity while using far less sample ... ... system ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... YORK , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a ... today announced that its MyDario product is expected to appear on The ... when The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz ... The ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that ... successfully helping those with the widespread pain associated with ... Amanda in Essex, England commented, ... hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous pain, with ... cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this has ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: