Bicep pain when throwing

My son is a 12 yr old pitcher. During a game 3 weeks ago when throwing, he felt pain. His pain is on the outside area of his bicep. It does not hurt with palpitation or any movement at all, nor does it hurt when he bats. It literally only hurts when he throws. He also says it becomes “tingly and shakes” when he throws. He has no pain at all in his shoulder or elbow. We took him to an Ortho doc and they said it may be a brachial strain, and to ice it, which we do multiple times a day. They said it would heal in 2-3 days. We are now going on week 3 and he can’t throw at all, not even in the field. Any ideas on what we can do? He only pitched 15 innings in about 6 weeks, so it shouldn’t be overuse. I appreciate any thoughts on this!

Laura32456,

“My son is a 12 yr old pitcher.”

You’re son is chronologically 12. You need to know what his biological age is? This is what counts towards where he is at with his bone development so you can make better decisions on when, how > and duration, he should perform and practice. He may be a delayed maturer by years.

“His pain is on the outside area of his bicep.”

For traditionally oriented pitchers and throwers, this indicates that his Brachialis is pulled and by the time it’s taking it to heal was a high grade tear.

This is known as an eccentric injury (contracting while lengthening). It occurs because the bicep and Brachialis involuntarily contract to keep the Elbow from ballistically crashing together in hyper extension and the Brachialis is much smaller than the Bicep so it fails. This indicates that your son produces Forearm supinated pitch types where the Forearm flies away from the body to the “outside of vertical”. Usually this happens when kids first learn the destructive traditional Curve, Slider or Cutter!

It does not hurt with palpitation or any movement at all, nor does it hurt when he bats.

The Brachialis/Biceps are little used in any baseball related activity. In fact this is one of the glaring disconnections with the injurious traditional motions kinetic chain. The Triceps should be driving Elbow extension but is flaccid during this timeline and the Forearm is moving in involuntary extension from centripetal forces.

“We took him to an Ortho doc and they said it may be a brachial strain, and to ice it, which we do multiple times a day.”

All these Ortho’s really need to read Dr. Mike Marshall;s work to get a better idea of what is really happening!

“ They said it would heal in 2-3 days. We are now going on week 3 and he can’t throw at all, not even in the field.”

Nothing was changed mechanically to mitigate the problem so it will re-manifest with every throw.

“ Any ideas on what we can do? “

He must learn that when he throws, the ball side Elbow has to pop up and the ball side thumb has to drive down and towards his back pocket if he rotated fully. He must learn all Forearm pronated versions of all his pitch types and throws. This takes learning how to arrive at the back correctly by taking his ball side thumb upwardly and head high at exactly the same time his glove foot plants.

“He only pitched 15 innings in about 6 weeks, so it shouldn’t be overuse.”

You and everyone else has been sold on this idea of “overuse” being cause, it’s not.

This is a poor ASMI construct that is only correct for Youth players that will produce bone growth abnormalities that can not be healed. All other injuries are, any use injuries.

“I appreciate any thoughts on this!”

Mothers should go to Dr. Mike Marshall and read to learn what it takes to safely teach their boys how to avoid pathomechanical actions. Men have proven incapable of this change!

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Hi Laura, first let me say that I am not a doctor. With that said, I have been a college pitcher and a current pitching coach. What I have seen over the years is that most bicep pain is caused do to the elbow dropping below the shoulder when the arm comes forward to throw the ball. The elbow must be at or above the shoulder when throwing. Also,make certain that he is not showing the ball to the center fielder during his motion. A Right handed pitcher should show the ball to the short stop position when the hand is up in the throwing position and a left handed pitcher shows the ball to the second base position when the hand is up in throwing position.

One more thing, his hand must be up in the cocked position when his front foot makes contact with the ground when throwing. If he is not in this position it will put major strain on the elbow and shoulder.

When his front foot touches the ground the front heel should be lined with the back heel.

Watch the YouTube video below of a Major League pitcher in slow motion and watch his elbow when his arm comes forward, it is at or above the shoulder. Watch how the hand is up ready to throw when the front foot touches the ground and his arm follows through down by his front knee.

I always teach my pitchers to follow through with the throwing arm / hand coming down outside the opposite knee to complete the deceleration of the arm. Doing this deceleration technique will take a lot of strain off the arm.

You may want to video him when he is throwing to see if he is doing things correctly.

REVIEW:

  1. Keep elbow at or above the shoulder when throwing
  2. Ball should not be pointing to center field when the arm is in the cocked position ready to throw. Righty shows ball to shortstop and lefty shows ball to second base position.
  3. Arm/hand must be in cocked position when front foot touches ground.
  4. When his front foot touches the ground the front heel should be lined with the back heel.
  5. Pitching arm must follow through outside the front knee not across his body.

Have him rest his arm until he feels no pain when throwing.

Please keep us updated with his progress.

Hope this helps.

TopGun
Former college pitcher and current pitching coach.

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