According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, new research reveals that young athletes who pitch more than 100 balls a week risk getting a painful overuse injury that can hinder normal shoulder development.
The injury is called acromial apophysiolysis, and the study found that it can lead to other problems such as rotator cuff tears.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon advises that there is no problem with teenagers pitching in baseball – the problem occurs if they overdo it. He encourages parents to have their kids play sports, but don’t have them repeatedly perform the same movements, and pitching is one of the biggest offenders.
Throwing in excess of 100 overhead pitches a week, in both training and in games, was a substantial risk factor for developing the condition. Of those who suffered from an overuse injury, approximately 40 percent said they had pitched more than 100 balls each week. In the comparison group, only 8 percent had pitched that many balls.
More than 60% of the overuse group had also suffered rotator cuff tears compared to half that number of the others, and the tears were more severe in the overuse group.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon’s take-home message is clear: Avoid over-pitching to avoid injury from overuse. And these injuries are more common in warmer weather states, where many children play baseball and other sports year-round.
Whether 100 pitches each day is viewed as a lot or a little depends on the age of the child. The American Sports Medicine Institute says pitchers between 15 and 18 years of age shouldn’t play more than two games per week and limit pitches to 50 per game.
If you have any questions regarding your child’s involvement in sports or feel that he or she may be suffering from overuse, call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule an appointment.