HEALTH MINUTE: Pitcher Injuries

It's a big week for baseball fans, as players from both major leagues converge on Minneapolis for this year's All-Star game.

Although the sport may look harmless, baseball players, especially pitchers, suffer from a lot of serious injuries.  And it's not just in the big leagues, but in the little leagues as well.

As a pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bronson Arroyo has made good use of his arm over his 14 year career.  Now, a sore elbow has led to the words any pitcher dreads.  Tommy John surgery.

"I was totally surprised the ligament was ripped off. "

It's believed to be caused by throwing too many pitches.

Many pitchers are now having the same surgery which replaces a tendon in the pitching elbow with a tendon from somewhere else in the body.

"We are seeing an increase in the incidences of these injuries at all age groups most alarmingly not only in major league baseball but in the youth population as well."

That's because, experts say, kids are getting limited rest between seasons because little league has become a year round activity which can put a lot of strain on a young pitcher's still developing arm.  

"Now i'm starting to see kids as young as ten, eleven, twelve with severe injuries that often require surgery."

What can parents do?    
  • have your child take time off to relax the arm.
  • help the young player strengthen his core, surrounding muscles.  Power comes from the whole body.
  • and monitor a child's pain.  Even young athletes mask their pain to keep on playing.

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