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Possible overuse - lower back

Jun 2, 2008
Would appreciate some thoughts -

My daughter has severe lower back pain - but only when she pitches a full pitching motion. She can do "easy" tosses and all things up to the point of full power pitches which includes walk throughs. Again, the only time there is pain is on full pitches. She rested with no pitching at all for 2 weeks, then started easy. The first full power pitch, the pain was still present.

She catches, plays infield, outfield, bats, runs, slides, etc. with zero pain. She has had xrays and MRI and there is no damage or reason for the pain according to the doctors. She starts PT today - but who knows what they are going to rehab.

My research on the web indicated possible vertebrae fracture, the symptoms match, but again, MRI didn't show that. Doctors don't know what it is, just telling her to rest and strengthen back and core.

Lastly, she is a very powerful pitcher, using every ounce of energy in her body, and throws very hard for her age (13). Her mechanics are good by all accounts - however, she occasionally does wash her glove hand out to the side during the pitch, sometimes alot, which results in her shoulders closing before her hips - if that makes sense. She occasionally steps near perpendicular (foot across) to the power line when she strides. She is working on both to correct.

Any suggestions?
May 7, 2008
Is she stretching the area that hurts, prior to pitching?
Does she dip forward prior to her delivery?
Has she and is she strengthening her non pitching side?

I have always been told that "if it hurts, don't do it." From previous experience, I wouldn't let her pitch until the problem is solved. Good luck.
Jun 2, 2008
She does an excellent job stretching, pretty much every part of her body possible. She stretches way beyond the ability of all her team mates - almost freaky at times. On most stretches, she says she doesn't feel the muscles stretching. She is horrible at staying on a strengthening program. She simply does not want to do the exercises. It sucks.

She has been told by doctors that she is extremely flexible, and that her joints are more "loose" than normal kids. She is definitely a gumby. For that reason, they repeatedly tell her to get on a stregthening program and stay on it, or she will continue to get injured. When she went to PT today, they told her that her hips may be the problem, again because of flexibility. They say her hips have loose joints are not moving in unison, because of the extreme flexibility. They gave her back exercises, leg exercises, etc. She has 3 sessions a week for a month - which hopefully will help. She isn't pitching until better.

I am at wits end trying to get her to understand that. The real problem is, she can do everything else well, with no issues - just cant go full throttle on pitches. She's a catcher as well, and because that doesn't hurt her, she doesn't think its a strength problem. I don't know.

Maybe I should just pull her from team until she proves she wants it by doing exercises to get strong.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
If you've checked with the doctors and they can't find anything, my guess is that she has a weak lower back. IMHO, she needs to strengthen her back.

She is horrible at staying on a strengthening program. She simply does not want to do the exercises.
If so, then she doesn't want to pitch.

Some good quotes to use:

"If you're going to ride the sled, you have to pull it to the top of the hill."
"That is why they call is a WORK out. If it was fun, that would call it a PLAY out."

May 7, 2008
Oh, my DD had that with the flexibilty. She simply must strengthen the core and both sides of her body.

Puberty worked against my DD.

We went to ortho docs and PT and a weird kinesiologist. One doc said that she had the body of a dancer.

She finally gave up pitching and was very successful at her other positions.
Nov 14, 2008
is her back pain on the glove hand side of her lower back, if so look at her front leg. the leg going towards the catcher. is her foot pointing forward or is it pointing across her body. if it is pointing across her body this could be the problem my daughter had same issue as a 14u. and her front leg/foot placement was the issue. also is she landing flat on that front leg with it poitning across her body, if so tell her to land more on the front of her foot so that as her hips go to close her front leg/foot can pivot. hope this helps
Jun 2, 2008
The pain is on her glove side. She does land alot with her foot pointing across her body, but is working to correct. She does land flat footed as well. She is going to PT to strengthen her back, and it seems to be helping. She will "toss" a few pitches every other dayor so, with no pain, but if she pushes it even a little, she feels it and stops. So, she really isn't pitching at all. She's having fun catching, playing infield etc. anyway so not really a big deal while she gets better. While she was doing the tosses, she did notice it was "easier" on her body when she did point her foot more towards home, so that may be something.

I read another post on here about the high leg lift and violent landing (Hal) by pitchers. I believe she may be a victim of that. She has a very long stride - 5'7" tall with nearly a 7 ft stride - even further during walk throughs. She really pushes off the rubber and her stride foot is knee high (probably 18") through the drag, which probably results in a very hard landing. We are going to look at that a little closer.

In the mean time, she will hone her catching skills and fielding skills - keeping in mind, its just a game.


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