Five Tips for Reducing Arm Injuries in Youth Pitchers

Baseball is no longer just a summer recreational sport. Kids may play on neighborhood little league teams, travel teams with week-long tournaments as well as school fall and spring ball. They may participate in developmental camps in the off-season. This results in non-stop throwing and overuse in the arms of pitchers. Dr. Nikita Vischer, a sports medicine specialist at Northern Colorado Orthopedic Associates and team physician for the Fort Collins Foxes Baseball Club suggests five tips for injury prevention in youth pitchers. Tip one: Follow age appropriate Little League pitch counts. This rule limits the number of pitches that a pitcher can throw in a game. Tip two: Follow age appropriate Little League rest periods. This rule dictates how much rest a pitcher must take between pitching appearances. Tip three: Follow age appropriate recommendations for pitch type. Throwing a fastball places the least amount of stress on the elbow. The curve ball should not be taught until age 14. Tip four: Give the arm time to rest after a season. Take a month off from throwing. Tip five: If pain in the arm develops, rest it for 1 to 2 weeks. If the pain does not go away, see a sports medicine doctor. More specific information on these tips can be found on www.littleleague.org

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