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shoulder pain

Jun 23, 2009
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Need help please. My daughter is 14 yrs old. She has been pitching for 2 yrs now taking lessons from a local coach. This past weekend she played in a 3 day tournament which she pitched 1 game Friday, 4 Saturday and 2 innings Sunday. Now her should is hurting and is visibly swollen right on top of her shoulder about the collar bone area. My question is is this normal or is something else going on? She pitched well and really wants to continue pitching but i've told her not to pick up a ball until this heals. Thanks in advance.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
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Going to assume it is the throwing shoulder here.

Your collar bone sort of floats. If the muscles artound it get stressed, swell up and inflame, those muscles can push the collar bone a little out of position and it hurts like heck.

You also have two groups of long, thin muscles running under the shoulder blade, there are the Infra-Scapularis muscles and the larger group is called the Supra-Scapularis muscles. These can be easily stretched and strained, especially if a pitcher is using a wind up that pulls way up on the shoulder complex trying to make the tallest/biggest arm circles.

If you elect to NOT take her to the doctor immediately, those muscles should relax after a few days. They might still be sore as all get out and she might feel every single one of them as her shoulder blade rolls back and forth over them.

There is also a possibility of a slight misalignment in the neck because of the collar bone out of place, if that is what it is. Muscles can tighten up on one side and still be relaxed on the other.

A good physical therapist might shed some better light on what is going on.

Alot of times, GP's and Ortho DR's will use a physical therapist to assist them in making a diagnosis.

Hal

WINNING FAST PITCH SOFTBALL
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,924
83
Dallas, Texas
If I understand your post correctly, she pitched five games in two days and you're surprised that she is hurt? What did you expect would happen?
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,509
48
Tucson
I have the same question. You say she pitched 1 game Friday and 4 Saturday. Is that 4 games Sat.? Do you have any idea how many pitches she threw?

I would also wonder if her release has a "shoulder shrug" to it?

You are right to make her sit out until she is 100%.

Good luck. When my DD got hurt, it came on suddenly and lasted a long time.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
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May 26, 2008
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Dallas, Texas
This stuff about "pitchers being invulnerable" and "pitchers can throw forever without injury" is nonsense. There is more than enough scientific evidence establishing that pitching can result in injury no matter whether the pitcher has perfect form or not.

It is midway through the softball season, and we are getting posts two or three times a week about injuries to pitchers. How much longer are parents and coaches going to pitch 13 and year old kids to death?

Ray
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
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This stuff about "pitchers being invulnerable" and "pitchers can throw forever without injury" is nonsense. There is more than enough scientific evidence establishing that pitching can result in injury no matter whether the pitcher has perfect form or not.

It is midway through the softball season, and we are getting posts two or three times a week about injuries to pitchers. How much longer are parents and coaches going to pitch 13 and year old kids to death?

Ray
________________________________________________________

Nobody has perfect form. Having very good mechanics most definitely helps prevent common injuries to pitchers.

A pitcher's 'Pitching stamina' is the biggest factor in how much they can pitch in a day or weekend without risking injury.

I have seen 16 year old pitchers that could not throw 4 innings before they were spent, losing speed, throwing all dirt balls, etc.

On the other end of that, I have seen 10-year olds that threw 2 games on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday and was only slightly sore come Monday and her next session with her pitching instructor.

The difference between the two??? The 16-year old would start her pitching lessons around a month before the season started, stopped practicing when the season ended. Didnt touch a softball in the off-season. Had next to no stamina.

The 10-year old practiced year round, 5 days a week and had worked her way up to 400-500 pitches per session over a few years. Throwing 4 or 5 games in a day was no more stressful to her than a normal everyday workout.

People push their kids during the season but not during the off-season at all, and they wonder why these pitchers get injured. Simple; THEY ARE NOT IN SHAPE TO THROW AS MUCH AS THEY TRY.

You also have the idiots with the "Throw hard, throw harder and throw harder than than" mentallity. Those are the pitches that cause the injuries. If you mix in alot of off-speed and slow pitches, you can throw all day long.

Let's not forget to thank the idiot coaches that think every pitch MUST be as fast as you can throw and, the ones that will put a pitcher in cold to do just that.

WINNING FAST PITCH SOFTBALL
 
Jun 2, 2008
62
0
I will speak from a pitcher dad perspective - not pitching coach as I am not qualified to do so.

My kid was one of those kids, that as a 10yo, pitched daily, could throw 6 games in a weekend with zero soreness come Monday. Just an animal. And, her team conditioned regularly. The winter practices focused on conditioning, not hitting or fielding, etc. Those girls were tough.

We have since moved, and of course she has gotten older. As she gets older, it gets tougher to pitch every night for various reasons. not to mention, her academic demands absolutely kill her as a 7th grader in an IB program. Her team does not condition - a problem I and most of the team parents are starting to recognize as we enter the final stretch of the season. Not only does she not pitch as much during the week, she doesn't condition much at all - and that is the point of my discussion. She has had several injuries over the past year - and I believe they are all related to conditioning - or lack of. The most recent is back pain -and as her PT points out, she is very weak in her core. This not only affects her pitching, but hitting, stamina, etc.

So, to me as a dad, more important than throwing 5 days a week, which is tough on kids now days, is conditioning and strengthening. I believe ALL of her injuries were the result of not conditioning properly. And, until she gets onboard with conditioning, injuries will be a problem for her.

FWIW
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,924
83
Dallas, Texas
Proper conditioning will reduce the likelihood of injury, but...

If someone came up to me and said, "Hey, my DD competed in an athletic competition for four hours and she is hurt. What should we do in the future to make sure she doesn't get hurt?"

The best answer would be, "A marathon is ran in less than four hours. Four hours is a long time to do anything. She shouldn't compete for so long."

There is a very weird dynamic in softball. There is a scientific study proving that the stress on a softball pitcher's bicep tendon is *greater* than the stress on a baseball pitcher's elbow. There are many, many documented cases of injuries to pitchers.

Yet, when a pitcher gets hurt after pitching 3 or 4 games in one day, the knee jerk reaction is "She had bad form" or "she wasn't in good enough shape". That is like looking for unicorns--the obvious answer is, "She pitched too much and strained/sprained a muscle."

Is the real problem that coaches are too lazy to find or train another pitcher?
 
Feb 13, 2009
26
0
North Carolina
Hal, I have to disagree with you here and go with slugger based on experience alone. When I was young and dumb I was pitching 300-400 pitches everyday. I pitched, ran, fielded and was in exceptional shape because all I did was play sports year round. I played softball, basketball, volleyball and bowled with pitching being the one thing I did year round and never stopped. Because of this and using advanced techniques before my body was ready I blew out most of my right side in high school. I have had 4 knee surgeries with the total knee replacement being the last a couple years ago and elbow surgery. I have torn rotator cuffs as well as hip and back problems. Yes, I have no doubt everyone here can go back and find a million things I did wrong but the one thing every orthopod I have seen in three states has agreed upon is that overuse and using advanced techniques while my body was still growing were the primary causes of my orthopedic problems including advanced arthritis in most of my joints.

I was an exceptional pitcher in school and had college coaches looking at me in middle school. I played most weekends during the season where I would pitch 5 - 9 games in a weekend tournament and was the only pitcher. It never bothered me then. I was strong and never got sore or had pain. Come to find out, the overuse conditioned me to the point that I have an abnormally high tolerance to pain. Even today my doctors have to skew my pain ratings because I have conditioned myself to manage pain over the years without realizing it.

Overuse is real! Advanced techniques should not be used by girls before puberty! These two things CAN cause serious and lifelong debilitating injuries that can be prevented if we would just let kids be kids and develop their skills as their bodies develop. Even college level pitchers are recommended to only throw 120 pitches every other day. Why would you want your 10 year old throwing more than mature, physically conditioned college athletes?

OK...Rant over. I will go back to lurking.
 

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