A: “Little League Elbow” is a throwing injury to the elbow commonly found among preteen and early teenagers who play baseball or softball competitively. Injury occurs when the repetitive throwing creates an excessively strong pull on elbow tendons and ligaments. This can tear ligament and tendon away from the bone. Sometimes small fragments of bone are pulled away as well. The elbow can also become compressed, causing bones to rub together. Young athletes are particularly prone to this type of injury because their bones are immature. A child should stop throwing at the first sign of elbow pain, restricted range of elbow motion or locking of the elbow joint. Young pitchers are also advised against trying to throw a curve ball. Symptoms include an elbow that is sore to the touch and may experience swelling, sudden onset of pain and feels like something giving way in the elbow. Pain may be associated with catching, throwing overhand or locking of the elbow joint. Prevention strategies include always stretching muscles slowly and gently before pitching, learning and practicing the mechanics of good pitching technique, and do not throw curve balls and sliders until high school when the growth plate in the elbow is fused with the bone.
Treatment may include chiropractic care. It works on correcting misaligned joints and can remove the pressure placed on the nerve endings that line the surface of the joint and course through the space between the joints, reducing pain and improving flexibility and function.
Information provided by Williamson Chiropractic, 206 S. Main St., 986-9189.