My son is a 17 year old junior and has been pitching since 10 with no pain. All of a sudden he is having some pain in his lower bicep of his pitching arm. It goes away after about 2 1/2 days. Today, he pitched a bullpen after pitching last Friday, (5th day after pitching) about 25 pitches and he is feeling it again. Still waiting for video analysis from Dick. Anybody ever experienced this before?
David Type in bicep tendonitis into the search for the forum and see what you come up with. I think Dick uses this as a warning sign of something wrong.
May be as simple as not warming up properly even once.
Geoff’s right. Search these forums on this subject. Dick has commented on this subject extensively.
The bicep tendon terminates or attaches to the labrum in the glenoid socket of the shoulder. Labrum tears can refer pain thru the bicep tendon to the bicep giving the impression that the bicep muscle itself is injured when in fact it’s much worse. Labrum injuries are serious injuries because the labrum has very little blood flow supply to it which prevents natural healing.
Do a web search on labrum or SLAP tear injuries. The shoulder is an amazing device but is at risk because it relies on stabilization thru a complex series of tendon attachments.
I believe educating yourself on the body and how it relates to pitching and injuries is very important. Don’t just take my word for it.
Thanks guys, I appreciate your input. I will look it up. My son saw the trainer today, who is very good and he text me and said it’s not a problem, but he is 17, and thinks nothing is a problem. It does concern me because it doesn’t hurt during pitching, but after a game last Friday, (79 pitches) and a bull this Tuesday of only 30 pitches it was hurting a little last night. Looking at his video, he is not short arming the ball. He is following through. I think it has to do with the working two days a week, then pitching the next day or just throwing the ball. The workouts are lower body one day then the upper the next workout. He does have the option of not working out the day before a game, but he does have to make it up that week at 6;30am. This is actually in the lower part of the bicep close to the elbow on the top of the forearm. I believe the labrum is located close to the shourder.
That is the most common place to have the discomfort. It will generally come from overwork or incorrect warmup. But of course there are other causes.
It would be interesting to know what the workouts are. Is he lifting weights or doing more explosive style workouts? Lifting weights can lead to the shortening of the bicep tendon if not done correctly (how many 17 yr olds know how to lift correctly?).
Do you try to adhere as closely as possible to the pitch one, bullpen two as closely as possible, or do the workouts take the place of bullpens?
Some thoughts here and if you do a little questioning the reason may present itsself.
Any pain is a sign that the body is in stress.
Does he do a good full body warm-up before pitching? What does he do after pitching?
What arm exercises is he doing? Bicep curls? Bench press? Lat pulls. Then you said he is pitching the next day.
So you do these upper body exercises like bicep curls, shorten the muscles and then go out and immediately try to lengthen it…probably without a proper warm-up routine.
I would advise against any upper body exercises prior to pitching. In fact, once the season starts upper body lifting in my opinion should be limited. It just does not make a lot of sense and can lead to injury.
He may be developing lower bicep tendonitis. Keep in mind that it could actually weaken the tendon and at some point it could rupture. Getting tendonitis is a big pain and can be difficult to get rid of. It can linger and linger.
Personally there is no way that I would rely on a trainer to diagnose an arm problem. I would get to the top pitching ortho in your area…someone who understands how the pitching arm works just to make sure there is no tear. He will be able to diagnose the problem…but not necessarily tell you the cause.
As soon as I get your video I will do the analysis.
Many arm injuries at the high school and college levels are related to weight training and a poor warm-up routine.
He does some minor stretching, movement of shoulders, performs a gradual workup to full speed in the bull pen prior to pitching.
As far as arm exercises, no curls, benching one day a week, no lat pulls, some plyometrics.
I told him today he is going to have to go in two days before pitching and do the necessary upper body workout that the fb coach is requiring. The trainer works directly under our local ortho, who is the team doctor for LSU, and a neighbor of mine. I’m just going to the proper protocols for now, but intend on having him look at him.
I’m in the process of sending you a link via email through my Mobile Me gallery.
Thank you for your help.
Tell me about his bullpens. How many pitches and at what level of intensity…100%, 80% etc?
Did you just start games? How many bullpens at what volume of pitches did he throw prior to pitching in his first game?
Is he throwing any new pitches or has he made any recent mechanical changes?
How many days of rest in between games.
I could see the football training during baseball becoming a real problem.
Is he using a bar when bench pressing or dumbbells? What weight? By the way, this is the very worst exercise for a pitcher to do…maybe even a quarterback. Bench pressing is for guys with short arms. A very big shoulder stressor.
We are four games into the season. He has pitched only in one of the games, last friday, 79 pitches. Prior to that, he pitched two innings, about 17 pitches in a Jamboree game a week before. Now that the season has started, he is throwing 1 bullpen a week, with about 25-30 pitches at about 80-90 percent. His coach said 75. He said about 80-90.
He has started throwing a new slider. He also throws a 10-4 curve, which he will sometimes throw on average 2 1/2 per batter, maybe a little less. For now, he is pitching Friday of last week and he will pitch tomorrow, so 7 days.
If he goes in and works out in the weight room two days prior to pitching a game, do you think that would be better? It’s going to be a challenge with the workouts stopping with the coach. Personally, I wish he wouldn’t even play football.
You should have the video by now. Be sure and click on the “large” view at the bottom of the picture. You should be able to download it. It’s a mov file.
Are you implying that bench presses with dumbells instead of a straight bar are better for the shoulder?
He doesn’t have short arms, and I here you. They use the olympic size bar. He is working with a warm up with the bar only, 45lbs, 10 reps.
95 lbs 6 reps
135 lbs 6 reps
155 lbs 6 reps
His max at this time is about 220.
Thanks for the help, Geoff.
When I used to lift, we used the narrow flat benches that allowed the scapula to freely move especially on the down motion. Of course, those benches weren’t too stable either.
Then several years ago, I had major reconstructive surgery on my left shoulder. It was a severe SLAP tear of the labrum where the head of my humerous bone at the shoulder would dislocate and fall into my armpit. At the time, I just assumed it was all the years of basketball and karate, but now I wonder with all the lifting I did if that didn’t have more to do with it.
He actually figured it out last night that when he started throwing the slider is when he started having the problem. He will be shaking that pitch off in the future. He does have a very effective 10/4 curve that makes right handed batters back out of the box with a call strike on first pitch or full count, so I’m not sure why the coach wanted the slider other than another pitch.
He works with Ben McDonald and he has learned a wicked 2 seam fb, along with a very nice 4 sm. His change up is also working well, so he will be dropping the slider.
Thanks for the info.
I think what everyone has to understand about the slider and several other pitches that kids throw incorrectly is how the hand finishes in the delivery.
In the slider pitch the hand ends up suppinated ( I think thats the term) or palm turned toward the ground. When you finish that pitch it basically hyperextends the elbow during each pitch. Pinching the backside and stretching the inside (where the bicep tendon is attached). Turn your hand palm up and imagine decelerating your arm in that position, Ouch!
If I am wrong here someone correct me but that is the reason the slider is one of the worst pitches on the elbow, and why a curveball thrown correctly is the safest (because the hand finishes in a natural position with the edge of the hand down).
Thanks for your input Geoff.
The other thing my son started recently is using a large bucket of rice and exercising his hand down in the rice. He has only done it on several occasions. The tendinitis started before. Do you think that the recent start of pitching a slider could have also attributed to some of the strain?
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.