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Pitching Injuries

Pitching Injuries

It is important as a pitcher to identify a pitching injury early so that you do not keep pitching and cause more damage to your arm. Although every pitcher must be tough and pitch through soreness, you need to know when to throw through it and when not to. Click here for more information on when to throw through it and when to shut it down (link).

Anytime you feel any pain you should go get your arm checked out. It isn't worth it to take a chance with it. There are a few main injuries that a pitcher should be aware of.

1) Elow pain

2) Shoulder pain

3) Back pain

These three areas are the most susceptable to pitching injuries. Let's look at each section individually so we can help you identify some injuries.


Tommy John - A surgery named after a former LA Dodgers pitcher who was the first to replace the ligament in his elbow with a tendon from another part of his body. How it happens is the ulnar collateral ligament becomes stretched, frayed, or torn. This can happen from repetitive stress of the throwing motion. Although it is becoming a more practiced surgery to younger pitchers it is not necessarily what may be wrong. In younger athletes a similar injury is called Little League Elbow.

Little League Elbow - Is irritation and inflammation in the elbow. It is caused by the growth plates of the elbow being stressed by overuse. These growth plates are made of soft carilage and are not very resistent to stress therefore they often cause irritation and inflammation. When the pitching motion puts force on the inside of the elbow, the younger pitcher's growth plates are more likely to fail than the ulnar collateral ligament. Therefore little league elbow does not require reconstructing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.


Arthroscopy - Allows the surgeon to look inside the shoulder joint using small incisions and identify the problems. The surgeon may often be able to correct the problem using this procedure by removing loose unwanted tissue from the joint, with less disturbance to the joint. Recovery time is usually short.

Bankart procedure - An operation that tightens ligaments and repairs torn capsular detachments, restoring shoulder stability. It is often performed for athletes involved in throwing sports (pitchers) who suffer from recurrent dislocations and subluxations. It allows the patient to return to pitching because the muscles and tendons are returned to their anatomic locations.

Rotator cuff repair - A procedure that is performed to repair the tear, therefore, relieving the patient's pain and improving function of muscles and tendons that move the joint. The surgery is commonly performed on patients who complain of pain and weakness in the deltoid region that occurs with normal daily activities as well as when they are throwing. The pain is often worse at night.


The causes of back pain can be complex. Some causes of back pain include muscle strains, muscle tears, or pinched nerves.

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