By Ryan Lampe, PT, Regional Manager
ApexNetwork Physical Therapy – Breese, IL Clinic
Many shoulder and elbow injuries with kids today result from weak muscles in each specific joint. Many kids today are throwing too much, and not doing enough maintenance/strengthening exercises on their shoulder and elbow. Today’s coaches are doing a much better job with limiting the number of pitches as well as limiting the number of times an athlete pitches during a week. One of the main contributing factors to elbow and shoulder problems are kids are trying to throw too hard too fast, and they are not using good body mechanics. Children should focus on proper form rather than trying to throw the ball as hard as possible. Another contributing factor to these young athletes having shoulder/elbow problems is specialization of sport. Children are playing baseball and volleyball year-round not giving their elbow or shoulder time to rest. Children should be encouraged to play all sports thus giving their shoulder/elbow time to rest and working other muscles that may in fact make them better for baseball during the baseball season.
At ApexNetwork Physical Therapy we can do throwing analysis on an overhead throwing athlete to make sure that they are using proper form in hopes to prevent injury.
There are five simple exercises that a young throwing athlete can do to maintain the strength in his elbow and shoulder. These exercises could also be important for volleyball players to do since the overhead hitting motion is similar to the throwing motion.
The five simple exercises to do with the soup can to help elbow and shoulder weakness: