Your friendly Chiropractor in Chandler AZ, Dr. Dan Rae, is back at the computer this morning in preparations for Spring Training and the start of the Little League baseball season I thought it would be could to write about Little League Elbow, which is becoming more and more prevalent with the specialization in sport that kids are moving to these days.
In the image above by MK Carlton, we are able to see the possible injuries in young baseball players sustained from pitching all called Little League Elbow. In all reality Little League Elbow is a syndrome. The repetitive valgus (a valgus deformity is a term for outward angulation of the far end of a bone or joint) stress brought on by pitching causes a stretch injury to the inner portions of the elbow and a possible compression injury to the outer portions of the elbow as seen in the image above. Pain at the inner aspect of the elbow is due to microtrauma to the medial anterior oblique ligament as well as causing accelerated growth and fragmentation of the medial epicondylar growth plate. On the outer aspect of the elbow osteochondritis dissecans (Osteochondritis Dissecans of the elbow is a condition that causes pain in the elbow of children 8 to14 years of age. It most commonly involves the portion of the humerus called the capitellum, which helps to form the elbow joint and allows the forearm to rotate, turning the palm up or down.) of the capitellum with the possibility of injury to the head of the radius bone, including premature closure of the growth plate.
These patients usually come into my office as teenage baseball pitchers complaining of pain on either the inner or outer aspects of the elbow.
Two different routes can be taken depending on the severity of the injury. If the x-rays show changes to the bones and growth plate an orthopedic consultation is necessary; however, if the x-rays are normal, rest from pitching needs to happen immediately. Also, modifications to pitching mechanics must be made, specifically to how the curve ball is pitched.
If you are struggling with Elbow Pain, contact my office today (480) 366-4041. We can Help!