Jock Doc

Treating overuse injuries in pitchers

 

HarlanS@baptisthealth.net

Q. My son is a 14-year-old baseball player and pitcher who has had pain in his right shoulder for the last month. It bothered him the more he threw the ball and he has had to stop playing for the last three weeks. When he went back to play this week, after one inning he again experienced pain in his right shoulder. Did we not rest him long enough for this to get better or should we have him see a doctor?

Overuse problems in throwing athletes are very common particularly in South Florida.

Many of our young aspiring athletes will play in two leagues simultaneously and there is not always a limit to the number of pitches that they can make in a game and how many times a week they can throw.

In the young throwing athletes, the growth plate “epiphysis” can become inflamed and a stress fracture can result. It gets worse the more the athlete throws. Although problems with the rotator cuff and other shoulder muscles are possible, in the athlete who is still growing an overuse stress reaction should be suspected.

I recommend your son see an orthopedic surgeon who likely will perform a physical examination and take X-rays of your son’s shoulder. Sometimes a comparison X-ray of the opposite shoulder can help reveal a difference on the injured side that can be consistent with widening of the growth plate and a stress reaction.

Many of these injuries can require one to two months of rest followed by a rehabilitation program to heal. Only after the athlete has healed completely and has been through rehab and a strengthening and conditioning program, can he return gradually to the throwing activity. Proper warm-upand conditioning as well as an emphasis on proper throwing techniques can decrease the risks of re-injury.

   

Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net

Read more Health stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Detoxing:</span> After JJ Smith developed her smoothie cleanse program, she wrote a book about it.

    Going green with the smoothie

    JJ Smith has inspired thousands to try her ‘10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse'

  • Sleep

    To sleep well, adjust what you eat — and when

    Sleep. Oh, to sleep. A good night’s sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults. And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

  • Plastic Surgery 101

    Mohs cancer surgery tries to spare tissues

    Q. I was just told by my dermatologist that I would have to undergo a Mohs surgical procedure. I had a friend who had that and told me that they left her a big hole. What can you tell me about Mohs surgery?

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category