Icing an arm


#1

If a kid pitches without anything more than normal arm pain/fatigue should he ice it between starts? If a kid pitches as a reliever on a weekend, say 2 innings one game on Saturday morning and a couple innings that evening, then relieves some on Sunday too would you ice between games, once each evening, or just Sunday after the tourney is over? Are there some tried and true methods to icing an arm? Thanks


#2

“Normal pain”? Maybe at the beginning of the season as muscles are worked into condition. But that should subside. Otherwise, something more than icing is warranted.

First, pitching in the morning and then again that evening is probably too much pitching for a youngster although it really depends on pitch counts - not innings - because 2 innings could account for 50 pitches in which case the pitcher should get at least a couple days rest before pitching again. Pitching twice on Saturday and then again on Sunday is definitely too excessive.

Regrding icing, it’s optional. Some light cardio work (easy jog, exercise bicycle, etc.) is preferred but icing can be done in addition. Ice within 3 hours of pitching - no more that 15 minutes on the elbow and no more than 20 minutes on the shoulder.


#3

The kid was used as a closer so while he threw multiple times pitch count was low(ish).

The comment was made that even though his arm never bothers him he needs to be icing it. Which I don’t have a problem with, I assume it can’t hurt, but… if ones arm isn’t bothering him should it be iced anyway?

Icing: his pitching coach showed me a method were a Dixie cup is filled with water, then frozen. To use you peel away the cup and rub the ice on the offending (?) area, as opposed to lugging around a bag of ice???

So a good little workout is best? Time frame, as in how soon after pitching? Thanks


#4

Sorry :oops:


#5

I’m with Roger about the appearances. I will avoid that discussion and just answer the question.
Immediately after the game no more than 20-30 minutes period, then it would be nice to get the kid to a shower say within 2 hrs of game conclusion (This is no problem in high school where you actually see icing regularly).
Don’t lug bag ice, do this, 1 cooler with ice, crushed ice preferably.
Gallon sized zip-loc bags and a roll of movers tape. This also works when your little hot shots get nailed with a liner or HBP. Fill the bag 2/3 to 3/4 full, force the air out of it, apply it so it surrounds the elbow or shoulder or both (2 bags used there), tape that sucker in place.
No you absolutely do not “have to” ice even if it isn’t enflamed. Kids may think its cool (No pun intended), til it gets to be a pita but if you are re-using the kid it may prove detrimental. My college aged pitcher son only ices when he feels the need and it certainly isn’t every appearance.


#6

Thanks for the replies.

So, if ice then right after game, not two or three hours later. Not absolutely needed but can’t hurt. Not after game if to be used again same day/weekend.

Don’t like the Dixie cup idea? Brad made it to the biggs before he hurt his shoulder and that was one of the tricks he learned along the way. Seemed pretty slick and put the ice right where needed.

No light workout for you huh?

The kid threw maybe 5 innings total over two days. Not sure of pitch count but he did what he was sent to do in pretty short order so I’d say it was in the 60-80 range for the weekend.

The kids arm just doesn’t hurt, maybe sore (bicep) PC says that’s to be expected, pitching is hard on the arm. Never shoulder or elbow. PC goes over the different muscle groups with the kids and points out the places that if hurting warrant concern. I’ve heard him tell kids that no matter what the situation if the arm starts hurting STOP, if you want to know why I’ll show you my scar.


#7

[quote]No light workout for you huh?

The kid threw maybe 5 innings total over two days. Not sure of pitch count but he did what he was sent to do in pretty short order so I’d say it was in the 60-80 range for the weekend.

The kids arm just doesn’t hurt, maybe sore (bicep) PC says that’s to be expected, pitching is hard on the arm. Never shoulder or elbow. PC goes over the different muscle groups with the kids and points out the places that if hurting warrant concern. I’ve heard him tell kids that no matter what the situation if the arm starts hurting STOP, if you want to know why I’ll show you my scar.[/quote]

It ain’t the innings…you know that Some. It’s up and down, it’s warm then cold then warm then cold then warm…it’s a time accumulation thing…no pain this weekend but the schedule and years mean that it is a more likely and substantially more serious a monster that lurks. Kids are tough and can take a whole bunch but what you describe is a recipe for breaking a kids arm down in my opinon and experience, one that ice won’t do much for.
Your pitching coach is correct and hopefully diligent, we just disagree on this subject of this type of usage within your age group. I personally think it is an experience issue. You may not agree with my perspective today…but I bet my Golden Retriever, Maddux that you will change over time when you actually witness a kid break down and with the schedule and ages you’ve started at, it is a certainty that you will witness it within your sons career (Not necessarily your son though).


#8

I don’t know, we dropped rec ball to limit usage, no fall league, not another tournament for three weeks, after that a tournament every other weekend. Also the team has 4/5 strong pitchers and another 2/3 really good ones (yeah we’re loaded this year).

So you’re saying the on/off is not good? Because I think Keegs has earned the role of closer.


#9

:clap:
See you’ve changed even just a tad since you’ve started posting here, well no harm in erring on the side of prudence and reasonability. I wouldn’t have an issue with back to back days or even Friday Sat and Sunday, given he wasn’t warming up cooling down and then heating up again. Dropping the rec ball and fb changes the dynamic considerably though imo.


#10

I don’t come here and ask questions just to yank peoples chains, and once advice is given just because I ask more questions doesn’t mean I didn’t/don’t accept the advice .


#11

Even when a player does not feel discomfort, micro tears may occur from the throwing. Because the elbow and shoulder joints are not highly vascular areas, ice is applied to introduce more oxygenated blood into those regions. I would ice at the end of the day just until the regions become a little numb. It should not take more than 15-20 min. Applying ice in direct contact with the skin is not recommended because some damage to nerve cells is possible.

Best regards,

Ted


#12

As cold constricts the vessels causing less blood flow to the effected area, this reduces swelling and inflamation.


#13

JD,

Apparently, there is not complete agreement on the mechanism but the P.T.s I have access to seem to believe that initially blood flow is decreased resulting in reduced oedema followed by dilation which brings more oxygen to the area.

If you can refer me to a good documented description I could use it.

Thanks,

Ted


#14

Here ya go Ted;

The money quote is this;

Some…here is a link that describes the various methods…including the “Dixie Cup” method you mentioned.


#15

I can see how some Light cardio work would raise the heart rate which, in turn, would increase blood flow. It’s not clear to me how icing would do the same.