Elbow hurting for 11 y/o boy

Hey guys. I need some help please. 2 weeks ago my son pitched 5 1/3 innings and threw 88 pitches. That was on a Saturday. He did not throw at all on Sunday or Monday. Tuesday we had practice and Wed he threw a bullpen session with me. About a month ago he started the Throwers Ten program and he has been using a 3 lb dumbell for those exercises. This past weekend we played with a different team and he complained of his elbow hurting all weekend. I am scared. He only throws a fastball and changeup. If something is torn would it hurt him while he is batting? He is a right handed pitcher but bats left handed. He had no pain while hitting and hit great. My wife is a nurse and she called the doctor she works for and he thinks it is inflammed from doing so much and need 3 days off form throwing. We iced it down after our last game yesterday for 20 minutes. What do you guys think? Thanks.

What has been the intensity and duration of your son’s pitching regimen from youth?

Has he been following any guidelines for pitch limits/days of rest, such as those issued by ASMI?

Also, that Throwers Ten Program, with the 3 pound weight … is that intended for 11 year olds?

Well he has been pitching since he was 9. He has never gone by a pitch count, the tourneys’ we play in usually has an inning limit. I learned about the thrower ten program from here.

I tried to put a picture up, but don’t know how.

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Throwers 10 I don’t think should be used until the players starts to mature, maybe 13 or older. Second I would really discourage a player at any age from playing with more than one team, find a team that plays enough games for your player and stick with it, 2 sets of practices and games is just not the ritght thing for young arms. Now with respect to where he is not, if you are concerned about a team then he should be seen by a doctor now, torn or not it could feel good at times and only the right action can tweak the pain. Probably right about the inflamation, can really be painful but I don’t think 3 day off is enough, no throwing for at least 7 days, then see what a slow restart will bring, 10-15 throws not pitches, see if anything returns, if it’s ok go for a 30 pitch pen the 3rd day, again see what he feels like the next day and then maybe a full speed 40-50 pitch bull pen.

If you are tuely concerned then it’s a process to make sure that everything is fine, since he is younger and doesn’t really know the difference between pain and soreness I would really be careful.

Good Luck,

tell your son to stop being a little Nancy and rub some dirt on it. I force my son to throw 150+ pitches a game. Make him a bulldog and hopefully he will get the injuries out of the way early. Tommy John is imminent.

great advice man maybe youll son will bring back the days where there was no pitch count people get hurt so what

So connorj247, what’s got your panties in a bunch, all your posts seem to be extremely cynical and cheeky…something got you tore up inside or what?

There’s no need for wise cracks especially in a thread like this one.

3lb is probably heavier than needed for the thrower’s ten. I’d think 1lb would be enough for an 11yo since you’re just working small muscles. However, I prefer the elastic tubing version of the exercises due to the continuous resistance through the range of motion.

Also, I think 88 pitches is too many for a 11yo. He should be kept in the 60’s with proper days rest between outings and a couple contiguous months off each year.

That right there is a recipe for disaster. Tommy John is not imminent with proper mechanics. Mechanics will become proper when coached right, and will stay proper if the pitcher is not overworked. When someone is overworked they become fatigued, and then Tommy John rates go up. As a college baseball player, I’ve never had to have any sort of surgery. However, I have only been playing baseball since I was 5 and making sure to take care of my arm.

[quote=“Roger”]
3lb is probably heavier than needed for the thrower’s ten. I’d think 1lb would be enough for an 11yo since you’re just working small muscles. However, I prefer the elastic tubing version of the exercises due to the continuous resistance through the range of motion.

Also, I think 88 pitches is too many for a 11yo. He should be kept in the 60’s with proper days rest between outings and a couple contiguous months off each year.[/quote]

85 pitches is LL limit, plus whatever is needed to get the last hitter. So, he’s within his pitch limits. 60 is a good recommendation for early in the season until arm strength is built. That’s the plan for my 11U son this year, start him at 60 or less and build up his arm strength and pitching accuracy, and let him go the full distance of 85 pitches towards the end of the season. It’s a team sport, so limiting his pitch count allows other kids on the team to pitch. And the time off from pitching is mandatory to allow the arm to heal. My son still hasn’t pitched in a game this year due to weather, so he’s been off since Nov. 1st. Absence makes the heart grow fond. But from throwing the ball and the few bullpen session he’s had, he throws with much more velocity than last year and has no problems throwing strikes. The act of pitching tears the muscles. rest between pitching is needed to heal the muscles. Pitching year round doesn’t make a better pitcher, only makes a sore arm.

We do elastic tubing and the 3# weight, but he’s 140# and appears strong enough.

Someone else mentioned keeping an 11U to one team per season. Again, good advice. This allows the arm to heal and still provides plenty of opportunities. In the long picture, dominance at this age is valueless. Gaining confidence, proper mechanics, having fun and enjoying the game are important. Also, having fun time away from the game is important as well.

Thanks for all the good advice. I will definitely use it. That’s why I come to this site.

It will probably not effect his hitting. My son, despite taking all the recommended precautions, had a growth plate separation in his shoulder last year(12 years old last year). He turned most of his attention to hitting since he could do little else - did play some 1B. And he improved dramatically as a hitter without feeling pain in his shoulder.

Just an FYI, his pediatrician misdiagnosed it originally as RC tendinitis. After a few weeks of PT, the therapist was not satisfied with his progress and sent him to an orthopedist. He went for x-rays and the separation was discovered.

I’d have him stop throwing and consult with an orthopedist. At the very least I’d pose your question(s) on the discussion board at ASMI.com (American Sports Medicine Institute). Dr. Fleisig (think that’s his name if memory serves) will likely respond. Also spend some time at their site browsing. There’s lots of good information that really every parent of a youth athlete can glean. MHO is that it’s one of the better things you can do for your athlete son or daughter.

Just my opinion but I think LL’s numbers are high. Dr. Andrews and ASMI recommended lower numbers to LL but LL decided to bump them up. Folks will point out that Andrews/ASMI went along with it but it’s because the alternative was no limits.

I’ve seen how arm injuries sneak up on kids. It’s really insidious. You don’t go out and throw 100 pitches and develop an arm problem. Well, you could. But sometimes the problem doesn’t show up until down the road.

And muscle injuries aren’t the concern. It’s connective tissues and growth plates. The wear and tear on growth plates seems to be cumulative. That’s why I believe in both short-term and long-term overuse. That long-term overuse will sneak up on you. Thus, the minimum 2 months off each year recommendation.

[quote=“Roger”]

And muscle injuries aren’t the concern. It’s connective tissues and growth plates. The wear and tear on growth plates seems to be cumulative. That’s why I believe in both short-term and long-term overuse. That long-term overuse will sneak up on you. Thus, the minimum 2 months off each year recommendation.[/quote]

Well said. Yet, if you look deeply into today’s youth baseball mentality, the norm is to play for multiple teams and overuse these young arms both short- and long-term. Adding up Little League/Cal Ripken/etc. practices and games during the week and travel team practices and week-end double-headers, a youth pitcher could easily throw 200+ pitches in a week. We play two LL games per week and the TT associated with our LL plays tournaments every weekend. For a kid to participate in both, which is what is expected, they would play in six games a week plus an additional two practices. A TT has, say, 6 to 7 pitchers they use regularly, who are the same kids who pitch in LL. Of those 6 or 7 kids, 3 or 4 primarily do most of the pitching and the others fill in the gap. The best kids will pitch a game for the LL team (85 pitches), plus the maximum 6 innings (not pitch count) during the weekend tournament. That’s equivalent to 12 innings/week, plus practices and playing other positions during the game. That’s a lot of wear and tear on growth plates that adds up over time.

I agree. Common sense - no medical degree required - tells me something is amiss when fully developed professional pitchers throw 70 to 100 pitches in a game but Little League says my 9 year old can throw 75 in a game? :?

There has to be a lack of awareness or lack of foresight.

HS coaches do not care what a kid accomplished in youth leagues. If you have a kid that’s got some potential, why then would the emphasis be on proving that he’s outstanding in pre-teen, meaningless games rather than on protecting his arm for a chance later on? I don’t get that.

I think it’s well established that overuse is a common denominator. However, there’s got to be some link to the intensity which a kid throws as well. I know of 3 instances first hand where the kid threw with above average velocity and did the right or prescribed things and still had growth plate injuries. All 3 happened early in the spring after the kids had taken time away from baseball playing football and basketball. All 3 had parents that were sensible and don’t appear to me to take it for granted that their kids are unbreakable.

It was explained like this to me by my son’s orthopedist—his injury (growth plate separation in the upper arm) is a product of decelerating the arm. There will be an increased factor of traumatic injury braking (deceleration) an arm moving with more force than one moving with less force. My point is this—the more the temptation may be there to have a kid dominate mass amounts of youth games, the more caution that should be exercised. As my son’s doctor put it, “We don’t treat kids throwing 45 mph. It’s the man-child that ends up in my office.”

My son doesn’t play recreation ball. He only plays travel ball on the weekends. When his regular team doesn’t play, I try to find him another team to play on for that weekend. That is what we did last weekend, he only pitched 1 inning. I find when we play with other teams he doesn’t pitch as much and that is fine with me. Other teams want him because he is a very good left handed hitter.

[quote=“BigShug27”]There has to be a lack of awareness or lack of foresight.

HS coaches do not care what a kid accomplished in youth leagues. If you have a kid that’s got some potential, why then would the emphasis be on proving that he’s outstanding in pre-teen, meaningless games rather than on protecting his arm for a chance later on? I don’t get that.

I think it’s well established that overuse is a common denominator. However, there’s got to be some link to the intensity which a kid throws as well. I know of 3 instances first hand where the kid threw with above average velocity and did the right or prescribed things and still had growth plate injuries. All 3 happened early in the spring after the kids had taken time away from baseball playing football and basketball. All 3 had parents that were sensible and don’t appear to me to take it for granted that their kids are unbreakable.

It was explained like this to me by my son’s orthopedist—his injury (growth plate separation in the upper arm) is a product of decelerating the arm. There will be an increased factor of traumatic injury braking (deceleration) an arm moving with more force than one moving with less force. My point is this—the more the temptation may be there to have a kid dominate mass amounts of youth games, the more caution that should be exercised. As my son’s doctor put it, “We don’t treat kids throwing 45 mph. It’s the man-child that ends up in my office.”[/quote]

I’ve seen all of this happen too. The kids who throw hardest are considered to be the kids with the strongest arms and are asked to pitch the most. But they’re the ones who put the most stress on their immature skeletal systems. Those growth plates eventually give out.