Inner elbow pain when throwing

Hi, I have inner elbow pain and it has been going on for a little while. The pain occurs when I’m pitching and lasts even a little after Im done throwing. Ice won’t help. The pain isn’t really bad but it’s there. Rest has not helped either. The pain is most frequently felt while throwing or when putting my arm over my head and bending it (like the tricep stretch). It may just be muscular or minor inflamation. Anyone else have any ideas or thoughts? Like I said resting a while doesn’t help a lot. Thanks in advance.

Pain, especially in or near any joint, is always concerning and warrants a trip to an orthopedic doctor trained in sports medicine. Pain in the inner elbow of a pitcher is especially concerning as that is where the UCL is located. Stop all throwing and have your elbow evaluated by an orthopedic doctor trained in sports medicine. Once again, not a pediatrician, not a general practitioner, not a physical therapist, but AN ORTHOPEDIC DOCTOR TRAINED IN SPORTS MEDICINE.


Thank you for the info!

Antoniof9, how old are you? Just curious if you have had any recent growth spurts.

Im 18 and no recent growth spurts. Only growth is I gained wait last year from lifting. Went from 178-210 about in a year and a half

At what age did you start pitching?

How many months of the year do you pitch?

Do you take any time off during the year from all pitching and throwing? If so, how much time?

If you take time off from all pitching and throwing, do you do a preseason throwing program before getting back on the mound? If so, how long is your preseason throwing program?

How long ago did this pain start?

Have you had this pain medically evaluated?

When I was 16, 40 years ago I had inner elbow pain (UCL) which lasted for better than a year. It would come and go but was too painful to pitch. Doctors would tell me to rest it. What it needed was time. I was cut my junior year in high school because my arm was unreliable, due to the discomfort. When I was 18 it was not an issue and I went on to pitch in college. My son, who is now 17 went though the same issues only his started at 14 and stopped during his 16th year. My elbow issue along with my son’s were durring significant growth years. Our situations may not be the same as yours but if it is, it is not that uncommon. Follow up with a Sports Doctor and good luck.

It is pretty similar with me except it has not become too painful to pitch. It is more after and only sometimes during. When pitching it is usually ok but when throwing like a warmup it flares up sometimes. It started a year and a half ago but it has become more prevalent now

I agree. Must see orthopedic Dr. might just need rest but they’re the experts

if it helps the middle to lower line is where the pain usually is. (More toward actual elbow) it may just be muscular strain or something in the moment

“I have inner elbow pain and it has been going on for a little while.”

This is known as the medial side of your elbow, it has 4 forearm Flexor muscle tendons strung against and across the gap between your Ulna the Humerus and attach at the Humerus . The bones are held together by their ligaments here right under the Flexor tendons.

The MCL (UCL) of the elbow like all Ligaments have no pain receptors but the Tendons above it do.
This is where your pain is coming from along with the cartilage in the area that is inflamed.

“The pain occurs when I’m pitching and lasts even a little after Im done throwing.”

This means you are a Centripedal delivery thrower (forearm flies outside of vertical with intuitive forearm supination) When your forearm drives the ball by supinating it allows the elbow to find it’s end of range of motion where the bones crash together ballistically causing all kind of havoc, over ten major injuries from this one mechanic.

Your injury happens immediately after release when your flexor muscles eccentrically (contracting while lengthening) contact to take the recovery load from powerfully supinating your ball drive.

“ Ice won’t help.”

Ice will help but you like all people do not use it correctly because of the pain it creates and it’s just a remedy and is actually unnecessary if you have healthy mechanics

“Rest has not helped either.”

Rest equals atrophy. If you had healthy mechanics the more you pitch the stronger you get. You like 98% of all pitchers produce pathomechanics (injurious mechanics).

“It may just be muscular or minor inflammation”

Generally joints do not have muscles within them, they are in the upper forearm and mid Humerus, oh ya inflammation and I would not put a grade on that.

“the middle to lower line is where the pain is”

Yup, typical

“ Anyone else have any ideas or thoughts?”

Learn to forearm pronate all your pitch types! This will allow your forearm to be going in the same direction as your Humerus while also protecting your UCL because the flexor tendons are now contracting concentrically (contracting while shortening) now and pulling the Radius towards the Ulna
and buttressing that sides Ligaments.

Learn to stay tall and rotate 180 degrees to recover.

Learn to pop your elbow up so when you powerfully pronate snap your forearm swivels to the front side and hinges back the other way to recover back in line so your shoulder does not fail.

Learn these things and watch your pain go away! Guaranteed! By making some changes will allow you to also overload train sport specifically (overloading the Kinetic chain while performing your mechanic) without fear of injuries.

Go to Dr. Mike Marshall and learn how to protect yourself, it’s all free and the best physiological, Kinesiological information out there from the leading overhead throwing expert in the world and with actual credentials.

Remember always get your Dr’s release to train

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Your experience sounds very similar to my son’s. His started at 11 and has continued now at 13.
We’ve met with sports ortho, no specific injury, and he slowly increased use last year from no throwing to pitching 1-2 innings for last 5 weeks of the season. Did rehab for 6 months with physical therapist.

From your experience what is best…full rest or focused strength and conditioning combined with moderate usage?

Thanks for sharing.

Sports medicine Doctor visit for sure to find out exactly what is going on. Also, not to push anything on you but I have seen relief and preventative maintenance measure with using a BFST wrap. It stands for blood flow stimulation therapy. Use it routinely before playing and it helps warm up the area internally. works better than a heating pad. Worth a look into -

Well the issue started probably due to a lot
Of innings, so when I cut down on innings over a year it felt gradually better or not as severe. Also a slight change in arm angle to go with body mechanics helped

@Antoniof9 Have you been to an orthopedic surgeon? Or are you still trying to diagnose your injury on the Internet?

I have not seen one yet. It has not progressed any worse so I have been trying to do research and ask other people like on here and athletic
Trainers for any info

I am going through this now with my 14 year old. We’ve been to 4 ortho/sports medicine doctors over the last month, including the Yankees team doctor and NY Jets team doctor. Pain or discomfort of any type or level is not normal. Make sure you consult with a sports medicine/ortho.

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@BoKnows has there been any diagnosis or ideas about your son?

Yes, his elbow growth plate has not fused. Unfortunately his season is over. The orthopedist wanted complete rest for two weeks to determine if perhaps it would start to fuse on its own. We go for another X-ray on Tuesday. If it hasn’t begun to fuse on its own, he will have surgery to force it to fuse by inserting a screw.

We are hoping it has begun to fuse on its own. Will know more on Tuesday.

Sounds like a medial epicondyle avulsion fracture.