Little League Elbow: Affecting the young sports persons involved in frequent throwing activities
Little League Elbow, medically termed medial epicondyle apophysitis, is an elbow overuse injury induced by repeated throwing. The illness is most common in pitchers, but it can affect any young athlete who throws a lot.
The majority of cases of this injury occur in children and teenagers aged 8 to 15. Their bones still have growth plates since they’re still growing. Growth plates do not exist in bones that have reached the end of their growth cycle. Therefore, Little League elbow is unlikely to cause elbow pain after this age.
Little League elbow is a type of repetitive stress injury caused by overuse. The same motion is performed repeatedly, resulting in overuse injuries. Repeated overhead throwing with poor mechanics, a lack of muscle strength and endurance, throwing breaking pitches too early in life, or excessive pitching counts can all contribute to this condition.
Repeated throwing injures a growth plate in the elbow in Little League elbow. A growth plate is a layer of cartilage towards the end of a bone responsible for most of the bone’s growth. It’s more vulnerable to injury than the rest of the bone since it’s weaker.
The inner part of a child’s elbow hurts when they have a Little League elbow. The elbow may have pain only during or immediately after throwing at first. However, if the elbow is not treated, it may begin to pain all of the time. The pain develops over time, although it might occur after just one throw if the athlete performs the same motions frequently. Athletes may also have swelling and difficulties extending the elbow, and they frequently report being unable to throw the ball as quickly or accurately as they formerly could.
Little League elbow requires a 6-week rest from any throwing activities. After that, they can use ice or a cold pack on the elbow for 20 minutes every 1–2 hours for pain and swelling, with a small towel between the ice and the skin to protect it from the cold. They can also take ibuprofen or naproxen if their health care practitioner thinks it’s alright.
Physical therapy or another exercise regimen is frequently recommended once the discomfort and swelling have subsided. In addition, some kids may benefit from working with a pitching coach or physical therapist before returning to play.
Book a consultation with our expert Dr Reetadyuti Mukhopadhyay for more information about the Little League Shoulder or any shoulder or sports-related injuries