My son, 16, had some minor inner elbow pain in October so he rested his arm for four weeks before he started light throwing again. By early December he was throwing medium bull pens at 80% (65mph). During mid December he developed mild tendonitis on the top of his elbow. We saw an orthopedist and he said that it was a minor inflamation in the tendon probably due to overcompensation to avoid the original inner elbow pain. My son rested for three weeks per doctor’s instruction and then started some light throwing at 45 feet. No pain except after throwing he said his elbow would hurt just a little for a few minutes. He has increased his throwing slightly with no elbow pain but he is having some muscle soreness. Is some muscle soreness normal after having not thrown for several weeks? We want to be cautious so that the injury does not re-occur. How long should he continue light throwing (ii he experiences no elbow pain) before he is back to 100%?
Muscles soreness is normal as long as it goes away over time (indicating that he is getting stronger).
If you want to ensure that the inner elbow pain doesn’t recur, you should consider making a few mechanical tweaks to his motion.
Muscle soreness is normal.
I have seen many young pitchers with this type of injury. The most common causes are: not stretching before and after throwing, not enough warm up pitches, tying to throw to may pitches to hard and/or problems with pitching mechanics.
Although we can say your son should be better by a given date, each athlete will have a different degree of injury and different rate at which they heal.
It is important to work with the Physician, Athletic Trainer and Coach to maintain a program that will not allow re-injury the elbow.
Remember, any throwing program should be pain free and increased slowly. If pain occurs stop the activity.
Along with the throwing program your son should be doing strengthening exercises for the elbow. You can check with Steve Ellis. He has the exercises on his site.