Help with Elbow/Arm Pain

Hey Guys,

I’ve been trying to condition my arm for a couple weeks now by doing long toss and throwing some pitches every other day or so. I’ve yet to start working with weights or doing any kind of workout. After the first few days of throwing the ball (I haven’t thrown in probably 5 or 6 years minimum) I was throwing one day and my elbow started to really hurt, to the point that I couldn’t throw anymore and could hardly support my forearm…for instance, I had to hold my forearm in my other arm because it felt like my elbow was too tired or hurt too much to hold it up. After about an hour of not throwing it didn’t hurt like that anymore, but on both sides of my elbow when I felt around with my other hand, I would occasionally hit something and it would hurt. So I don’t know if the pain is in my elbow or if its surrounding my elbow…its hard to pinpoint. So I threw again the next day and after maybe 20 or 30 minutes of throwing, the pain came back, so I laid off for a few days. Yesterday I threw, and when I felt the pain starting to come back a little bit I quit throwing.

What I find interesting is that it happens even during long toss, not just when I’m pitching.

I guess my question is, is this normal for conditioning your arm after you haven’t really thrown in years? Is my arm getting used to throwing or is it a higher probability of being some arm issue? I know y’all are going to say get it looked at by a sports doctor…that’s not my question. My question is if this has happened to some of you after not throwing for a while. If its not normal, obviously I’ll go see a doctor but if its just my arm getting used to throwing again or if its something mechanically I can change I’d rather take that approach before going to a doctor.

Thanks a ton guys!

Last year I started throwing after 5+ years of not throwing regularly. Sometimes I had a bit of muscle tightness somewhere in my arm or scap- Nothing like you are describing.

I would definitely have it looked at -

Craaaaap. I’ll have to go have it checked at a doctor’s office soon

If you have pain or weakness on the sides of the elbow (not the front/medial or back/distal part of the elbow), that is really serious. Stop throwing, stop doing anything that requires quick extension of the arm, and see a PT and have them do a moving valgus stress test.

If the test is positive or the PT wants you to follow up with a specialist, do that and get an MRI ASAP.

Kyle when you refer to medial and distal sides of the elbow, are you referring to bones in the elbow? I know you said if the pain is not located at these points, but rather it is on either side of the elbow its serious…is this referring to tendons/ligaments/muscle?

Extend your arm and palm up. Medial is inside and distal is the other side of the elbow

Right, I understand where medial and distal refers to, but does it refer to the elbow bone structure or the ligaments, etc.?

Neither. It refers to the position of the arm in normal anatomical position.

OK let me see if I understand…If I’m holding my arm out, palm up, and I feel pain just past the elbow on my wrist side and then just past my elbow on my shoulder side (on the inside of my bicep), it could be serious?

I apologize for my lack of understanding, this is for sure a new area for pain to develop for me.

Any elbow pain can be serious, but yeah. Could be anything from a partially torn UCL to biceps tendonosis to nothing. But no way to know for sure without a PT and a physician looking at it.

OK thanks for the great information everyone! I’ll be making a trip to the doctor in the near future…