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Thread: Pitching and scoliosis

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    Checking out the clubhouse skychief's Avatar
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    Default Pitching and scoliosis

    Can pitching lead to scoliosis in some cases? My 11yo daughter, who has been pitching for two years, was recently diagnosed with slight scoliosis causing her pelvis to rotate anteriorly on the right side. About a month ago, I noticed that she was having trouble keeping her drive foot at a 45 degree angle and was actually landing at almost closer to 90. From the start, she always had a good drive and wore holes in shoes exactly where you'd expect so this new mechanical breakdown was completely abnormal for her. This was her first year on a travel team so we've been playing since early spring and still have a few weeks left of fall ball so needless to say, she's pitched a lot more than she's used to. We have now shut things down and she is in physical therapy three times a week to strengthen her hips and knees. The hope here, is that once we strengthen these areas, everything will pull somewhat back into place. I wish we would've concentrated more on exercising her right side, along with her pitching side, keeping her body in sync as I believe this had to somewhat contribute to this problem. Has anyone experienced this? What are some good exercises that pitchers can do to keep balanced?

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    Checking out the clubhouse GXsDad's Avatar
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    This should be a question for her orthopedist as she will have to be monitored until she is done growing. Eleven is right around the age where scoliosis often appears in girls. I have never seen physical activity given as a cause of a curvature. Most likely the curvature was coming with a growth spurt and the pitching was coincidental. Exercise will help but it is unlikely that it can reverse skeletal imbalances. Usually there is not a whole lot that can be done except keep an eye on it and hope it doesn't progress. Scoliosis runs in my family. I have it myself and have been through it with my sister and most recently my son. When my sister was diagnosed, her doctor told her that swimming would be the best exercise for her back. She became a competitive swimmer and I am sure that it helped. But her's was a bad case and she also had to wear a back brace for many years. I would have your DD keep up the PT and also do a lot of core exercises and swimming if she is really serious about it. She will be able to adapt her pitching to the skeletal changes unless they really become severe. Good luck!

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    JAD
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    Rapid growth usually leads to scoliosis. My DD goes to a sports chiropractor for periodic adjustments of her hips, but she never had scoliosis, so I would recommend consulting a doctor for suggestions.
    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times" ~Bruce Lee

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    Softball Junkie Il softball fan's Avatar
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    My daughter developed scoliosis around 12 years old. She was a pitcher from the time she was 10. Not sure that doctors ever thought that may have contributed to the scoliosis developing. Possibly that could have contributed to it, since one half of the body is used repeatedly. We were told, and the research that I did, that growth spurts due to puberty was when it developed, and for some reason the spine, and muscles controlling the spine developed faster on one side of the body and pulled everything out of alingment.

    DD's spine doc did have her try back bracing for about a year and a half, but the condition just kept getting worse. She eventually had to have spinal fusion surgery, and has three rods, and 18 screws currently holding her spine in alignment. One thing I did ahead of surgery that I probably should not have, was watch an example of this surgery on Youtube. They are not usually able to get it completely straight, just straighten as much as they can. That was three years ago. Just had x rays and check up in July. All good and no appointment necessary for two years this time.

    Here is a link to the doctor she went to in St Louis. Not sure where you are located, but people come from all over the world to see him. We did not look into Chiropractic treatment for scoliosis. Hind sight being 20/20 I wish we would have. Good luck to you and your DD. It is a scary journey for sure if it progresses. Dr. Keith Bridwell | Scoliosis and Complex Spine Surgeon | Washington University Orthopedics

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    I'm a fan ang2bmd's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about scoliosis having anything to do with pitching. It's an extremely common condition in girls at this age. If monitored closely for worsening it should be fine and she would have no restrictions. It's fine to try chiropractor but don't forgo medical monitoring.

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    Checking out the clubhouse skychief's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to respond everyone! She was diagnosed with this problem by a doctor in sports medicine, from our area, and he seems pretty hopeful that PT will help her. Right now she's in therapy three times a week to strengthen her core, hips and knees so hopefully things will improve soon. He's hoping everything will start to pull in place over time, correcting her knee issues in the process. She was always one to work hard at practice but never had the motivation to do more on her own. I think she is now realizing that staying in shape is a must to avoid injury when playing at a level higher than rec, especially with all the work that goes into pitching. I think she's starting to realize that even if she never played softball again, that she will need to work to correct this issue. I told her a couple of exercises and few less YouTube videos on the couch should do the trick! Thanks for all the feedback everyone, I really appreciate it!

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    Checking out the clubhouse GXsDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skychief View Post
    She was diagnosed with this problem by a doctor in sports medicine, from our area, and he seems pretty hopeful that PT will help her. Right now she's in therapy three times a week to strengthen her core, hips and knees so hopefully things will improve soon. He's hoping everything will start to pull in place over time, correcting her knee issues in the process.
    I recommend that you do some research on scoliosis. It can very quickly turn into a serious deal as evidenced by Il softball fan above. Usually once a spinal abnormality is detected by either a pediatrician or at a school screening the patient is referred to an orthopedic surgeon. If scoliosis is detected in a physical exam, the ortho. doc will order a spinal X-ray to measure the curve and use it as a base line to measure future progression. From the time he was diagnosed, my son was examined by an orthopedic surgeon every six months until he was almost done growing. A curvature can get worse in a hurry that is why they like to keep an eye on it.

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    My daughter was just diagnosed with scoliosis today and she pitched and while the thought did cross my mind i donít think itís had much affect if any. She just turned 12 and has 20 degree curve so hoping to maintain it. But was hoping I could blame it on her being so slow at our next practice but then saw Usain Bolt has scoliosis and decided that canít be it lol


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