My son is 16 and has been taking professional pitching lessons since he began pitching at age 9. He has always had above average speed for his age and was throwing mid 80’s when 14 and 15. He never had any arm pain and has always been on restrictive pitch counts to protect his arm with appropriate rest between starts.
His first sign of a problem started last spring when he was 15 working out with his high school team . He felt a pop in his arm while throwing a ball back from the outfield. Took a couple of days off and felt another pop when he went back to throwing. The first pop left his arm feeling tight about three inches down from the shoulder in the big muscle. The second pop relieved the tightness and the pain went away. He played the full high school season and all summer pitching about once a week through July with absolutely no further problems. We took August off and did not do any sports. In September we started hitting in the back yard and he probably over did it the first day, maybe a 150 cuts off the machine, but he was eager to get back into baseball and was having fun. After finishing up hitting he picked up a baseball and tossed it to me from about 30 feet just starting to loosen up his arm for a light workout and complained that the big muscle felt like someone had frogged it. He tossed maybe 10 throws to me and it was getting tighter so we knocked it off for the day.
Next day tried to warm up his arm and the tightness was still there. Now after multiple trips to specialists and weeks of physical therapy we finally got a MRI done in January and the results have been “we don’t see anything wrong on any of the tests, the MRI is clean and his arm looks fine” The Dr. cleared him to start working out with his school team and the tightness quickly returned, despite four months of not throwing and weeks of physical therapy.
Working with his pitching coach again after the clean bill of health we have modified his mechanics to reduce the stress on his arm in the area of pain. Now he can throw with no pain and is back up to throwing it around the infield in the high 60’s without any pain thanks to the new mechanics, however, he has no power in his arm and it looks like he may have to get close to his old mechanics again to try and get his velocity back. Two other kids on the team have the same symptoms and no doctor has figured out what is happening.
We have an appointment with Dr. Andrews at the Birmingham Sports Clinic in a week to see if he has any ideas. I am wondering if this is common to anyone else and if anyone has been through it and found the cause.
The pain/tightness is on the outside of the arm about 3 inches down from the top of the shoulder and the physical therapist found a pressure point that he could apply that would relax the muscle when it tightened up, but had no idea what was going on.
Thanks for any replies.