Elbow pain in 8 year old

My son just turned 8 years old and currently plays for a 9u team and has since the fall. He has only pitched one game back in September (I think he’s too young and will not allow him to pitch a lot yet) and practices pitching once a week but averages about 30 pitches a week. He catches and plays short stop or third base but we haven’t had a tournament since Early November and he’s really only played Rec basketball and once a week baseball practice since December. He recently about 3 weeks ago complained about his elbow hurting after practice and it was the first time he mentioned it so I let it go. The next week he mentioned it again and we have stopped everything until he can get in with an orthopedic doctor later this week. It only hurts to press on it inside his elbow now and will occasionally make a popping noise if he twists it a certain way. I’m trying to stay positive but has anyone experienced this before?

Sounds like medial epicondylitis, commonly known as “Little League elbow”. It is an overuse injury common in youth baseball. Usually it is just inflammation, but in severe cases the growth plate can be fractured. Have him checked out by an orthopedic doctor trained in sports medicine. Once cleared to throw, follow the “Pitch Smart” guidelines for youth pitchers prepared by Major League Baseball. Click here.

In addition to what south_paw said… if the doctor suspects a growth plate injury, s/he may want to x-ray both elbows in order to do a comparison of growth plate thickness between good and bad elbow.

Maybe he is throwing too much during the course of the year? Then going and throwing once a week in a bullpen session is not good. There is a chance he has changed his throwing mechanics after growing too. I have an 8 year old that complained of elbow pain in the exact same spot. I noticed his rotation had a slider spin to it. After video analysis I realized he was letting his hand slide to the outside of the ball. We worked in him staying behind the ball and the pain went away and he throws pain free now. He put on 15 lbs from last year and probably grew two inches. According to the guys at Stack Velocity that can change everything they do including the way the child runs. As the others said at this point though, I would shut him down and wouldn’t dare let him play fall ball.

My son’s league didn’t allow kids to pitch until they were 9 - which may or may not be a big difference between 8 and 9, but it seems like he may be throwing too much, if he’s got “little league elbow” already. Ice and rest are the best - but as others have said, take him to a doctor to be safe.

They are saying ice is not good anymore. It slows down the lymphatic system. Whether it’s right or not? Your guess is as good as mine.

Thank you all!! I took him the next day and they put a cast on him! He somehow tore something (not growth plate though) and will hopefully get it off tomorrow and complete physical therapy along with training on how to properly throw the ball! Not sure what caused it but we are on top of it! I appreciate all of your feedback!