My son is 14and pitches, 2months ago he began to notice his right shoulder pop forward when holding his arm up to throw at a certain angle. He does not have any pain but is worried to pitch/throw with his normal velocity. He has been referred to an Orthopedic Sports Medical Dr. for an evaluation. He’s been seen by a Dr. of Physical Therapy and he doesn’t seem to be too concerned he mentioned strengthening his shoulder and gave him some exercises to do to help strengthen his shoulder. Is this a common issue with pitchers? Any information is appreciated.
My son is 14and pitches,”
Whats his biological age? Is he Early, Equated or a Late maturer? This is the age when you need to know, to allow him more or less training opertunities and their aggressiveness! The biological difference is up to a 5 year spread? He may be late by up to 2.5 years?
“ 2months ago he began to notice his right shoulder pop forward when holding his arm up to throw at a certain angle.”
When the traditional pitching approach (Centripedal delivery) is used the Humerus is driven forwards by horizontally flexing the Pectoralis Major, it is the primary forwards mover. The forearm will fly outwards and the pitch types will be intuitively forearm supinated.
When a thrower elevates their Humerus (like Lincecum and many more now) (Axipedal delivery) the primary forwards mover becomes the latissimus Dorsi and the intuitive drive turns to inwards rotation of the Humerus and forearm drive pronation.
When kids hit this level they start to experiment in angles and pitch types, there are disconnects that can be mitigated with understanding. It may be the case of him learning a new motor skill where the pec does not want to give up some power, by switching? Among many more! Learning what Humeral/forearm transition arrival is best for each forwards drive action is not well understood by most.
This is why experts suggest youths should only motor and strength train and not compete until their short championship season in the late spring. Until all the growth plates in the Elbow have solidified!
This happens at biologically aged 16 in equated maturers.
knowing his biological age is important
“He does not have any pain but is worried to pitch/throw with his normal velocity.”
Ligaments have no pain receptors and will lengthen then fray then fully rupture without barking!
The pain associated with UCL degradation is in the overlying Flexor Tendons and area cartilage being over valgus torqued from instability and laxity of the ligaments.
The shoulder Ligaments do not completely fail but they do become Lax. This leads to growing issues later like labrum scrape at it’s peripheries. This is caused by excessive lateral and angular movement of the Head of the Humerus in it’s cavity that is caused by a pathomechanic (injury causing movement) where the athlete actually dislocates their shoulder by to much miss alignment of the (Acromial line) and the longitudinal line of the Humerus. One of these pathomechanical movements is Hyper horizontal abduction of the Humerus where you see them take their Humerus back towards their spine.
The health tenet is to keep your Humerus in alignment with your shoulders at all times during the arrival, delivery and recovery.
“ He has been referred to an Orthopedic Sports Medical Dr. for an evaluation.”
Know this, the term GIRD is a myth unless there is data showing the deficit range of motion before the beginning of throwing. Handedness is the reasons for differences. besides no throwing motion uses full range of motion while powering their objects in internal rotation.
“He’s been seen by a Dr. of Physical Therapy and he doesn’t seem to be too concerned he mentioned strengthening his shoulder and gave him some exercises to do to help strengthen his shoulder.”
This is good at his age! Biological age appropriate exercises at low impact reps are best.
This site has an excellent Latex resistance routine based off of Jack Lelannes original latex resistance work with low impact exercising… have him do these daily.
“ Is this a common issue with pitchers?”
Not really? But how many kids self diagnose themselves as OK compared to those that do the opposite?
“Any information is appreciated.”
I go with the known pathomechanical mitigating throwing tenets and build from there. They are.
Do not compete unless you are fit. This takes an age appropriate plan.
Do not counter rotate past the field driveline.
Keep both Humeri in alignment with the acromial line.
Keep the ball above the field driveline at all times.
Full length arrival (Forearm supinated/Humerus fully outwardly rotated) synced with glove side foot stabilization (Benchmark).
All pitch types driven, released and recovered by Forearm pronation and inwards rotation of the Humerus.
Start tall and rotate 175 by staying tall thru recovery, defending with both feet on the ground in a drop step position.
Each one of these mitigates overlapping pathomechanical actions, it allows the athlete to learn actual
“sport specific“ heavy resistance techniques because it has a clean sinuous transition, driveline then recovery that will not joint injure you.