Unsure about injury - upper arm/shoulder


This is probably pretty common to some of you and has been discussed here before… but I’m just trying to figure out what it is. Long story short, I haven’t pitched for about 4 years, and have just now started again. 21 years old.

I tried to ease into it, but probably could have tried harder.

Now most of the time, even throwing, not just pitching, my arm hurts like hell. I can’t exactly describe where the pain is, except for this - it’s the very upper arm, on the OUTSIDE, and maybe even aproaching shoulder. When I throw, it can sometimes be a VERY sharp pain to where it’s almost too hard to even throw, or it can be very little pain at all. Obviously, I’ve stopped throwing all together for the most part. I’m just trying to get an idea of what this may be. For reference, it doesn’t really bother me that much in every day life, unless I lift my arm a certain way - imagine having your arms crossed but not resting on against your body, but just in air - then lifting up. That hurts.

So, does this sound familiar to anyone? If so, any ideas on what it maybe, and any reccomendations on how to handle it? (besides the obvious don’t throw and go to the doctor - trying to figure out if that is neccesary.)

Thanks a lot.


I’m not a doctor so I have no idea what might be wrong. But, since you’re trying to decide whether or not to go to the doctor, I’ll suggest that you do so because of the fact that you’ve described “sharp” pains. It’s somewhat common for pitchers to experience soreness when starting up after some time off. But soreness is considered different from sharp pain and most coaches, I believe, consider sharp pain as needing medical attention.

right. the reason i have been hesitant, though, is because a) it’s not always SHARP, and b) it’s only there when i throw, not the rest of the time.

was just kind of wondering if anyone had experienced anything simliar.

I don’t have experience to lend. The only other thing that comes to mind is when you describe having pain when you cross your arms and lift them, that sounds like a rotator cuff issue which would also be worthy of a trip to the doc. But this is nothing but speculation on my part.

First, you need to go see a doctor. You have something seriously wrong with your shoulder.

Second, you may want to post a video of yourself showing so we can see if there is a problem with your mechanics.

How far can you reach up your back with your throwing hand vs your non-throwing hand? (Without significant pain.) It could be tightness, it could be a rotator cuff tear, it could be bursitis or a lot of other things none of us are qualified to talk about even if we stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

You may or may not have a serious problem but it is still worth going to see a doctor.

i can do the same movements with my throwing arm as the movements i can do with my non-throwing arm. the only difference is, there is pain when it gets to a certain height, but not enough pain to stop me, unless i’m throwing.

I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel serious enough. Guess i’ll go to the doc though.

Thanks guys.

If you are feeling a sharp pain while throwing, then get in with a doctor. I had a similar experience, however it was a little more severe. I would experience a sharp pain when pitching but when it started it was only occuring once or twice a pitching session. I continued to throw and the pain would occur more often and was becoming worse. It got to the point where I was having trouble sleeping in certain positions at night and something as simple as pushing a door open would cause my shoulder to “slide.” I ended up having to have surgery on my shoulder for torn labrum and frayed rotator cuff. From that symptoms that you’re describing it could be something similar but not as severe. It isn’t something to mess around with. Go to the doctor and get a professional’s opinion on the subject.

ya I had that exact same problem and have for about 3 years, i went to the doctor about 3 different times just to be told that I had tendonitis and they never had me do anything just say you probably throw too many curveballs. Last year I saw a bone and Joint specialist who assigned me to six weeks physical therapy, when I went there they concentrated on strengthining the muscles around my shoulder, try the rotator cuff exercises such as theraband ones and I would do the Jobe exercises there are a few others, if you would like me to go into detail of the exercises just PM me. Make sure to ice your arm as well for about 15-20 minutes when it is sore, you could also try some ibuprofin but dont over due it with it.

Ive been having the same thing, i went to a physio and he told me it was a tight rotatorcuff. He told me to stretch a lot more before throwing and ice immediatly after throwing. He said if i dont look after it it could lead to tendonitis and to look after it.
I hope this helps :slight_smile:

Absolutely go see a doctor.

If you can’t get in to see one right away try this diagnostic motion:

Stand with both arms straight out to your sides at shoulder height.
Have someone aplly constant pressure downward on both forearms while you resist for 5-10 seconds.

Now move both arms forward 45 degreesa turn your palms out with your thumbs down. Have someone again apply downward pressure on your forearms while you try to maintain your arm position.

If you experience pain and can’t maintain the same arm height with both arms, ie your problem arm is weaker, then you may have a slap leasion.
But only an experienced doctor can tell you for sure.