At Massage Athletica  Little League Elbow is a common injury we see from youth athletes.  The more parents are educated regarding this particular injury, the better equipped they can be in preventing and treating it. These four facts each provide useful information that all parents should know about Little League Elbow.


1. Little League Elbow is the Result of Repetitive Throwing

Little league elbow has been so named due to the fact that so many young baseball players are effected. It is pitchers in particular who suffer most frequently from this injury, as it occurs as a result of repetitive throwing. Catchers, infielders and outfielders are sometimes also affected and it primarily depends on the frequency and intensity of training sessions.


2. It Only Affects Youngsters with Developing Growth Plates

In children ages five to fifteen the growth plate located on the inside of the elbow is considerably weaker and more prone to injury. During the throwing motion, the inside of the elbow is placed into traction while the outside is placed under compression. It is the repeated traction of the elbow which pulls at the growth plate causing irritation and pain. A similar condition called ‘valgus medial overload syndrome’ can be developed past adolescence. 


3. Pain is Recognizable and Treatment is Effective

The pain experienced as a result of little league elbow is dull, and localized to the inside of the elbow. The pain will be worse following a game with increased pitching time. Or when games are more frequent and close together, not allowing for adequate rest. As with most injuries the earlier is it caught the more affective treatment is likely to be. Furthermore, little league elbow can lead to further damage as weakness to the elbow and growth plates has already occurred. Once pain is recognized and diagnosed, rest for a 4-6 week timeframe is essential followed by rehab, which can include physiotherapy and sports massage therapy. 


4. Little League Elbow Can Be Prevented

It’s most important for parents to know that little league elbow can be prevented through implementing the right techniques and precautions. The facts above should have provided a decent overview of the injury itself and understanding that will help considerably when it comes to using preventative measures. The main thing to remember is that it is an overuse injury, which means it is essential to give the elbow some time to rest and recover after training. This means that extra practice in the backyard is not always a good idea, and children should be encouraged to spend time playing different sports that require different actions. Not only will this help to prevent little league elbow but it will also build and improve fitness in other areas such as the core, which will improve overall strength and performance on the baseball field. Another effective preventative measure is sports massage, as the manipulation of the tissues can help to improve blood circulation, repair tissue damage and relax the surrounding muscles.