You are in-season and you are pitching a lot and your arm hurts. This is a common problem in todays game. Studies show 58% of pitchers in high school experience elbow pain and 38% of high school pitchers experience shoulder pain (1).
Should this kind of arm pain in-season be this common? Should you just pitch through this kind of arm pain or not? What is causing this kind of arm pain and what can pitchers and coaches do about it? I have the answer to these questions but the conventional wisdom of this game doesn't want to hear it.
It is unfortunate, that the majority of the young pitchers and coaches in this game have a very, should I say extremely, poor understanding of pitching mechanics. Most of them think they understanding what makes efficient and effective pitching mechanics because they think the conventional wisdom of the game is the best breakdown of pitching mechanics. If you haven't learned otherwise, it is so far from a complete understanding of pitching mechanics that it is concerning.
In this article, I will not only give you the top 10 reasons your arm hurts when pitching but I will tell you how you got to this point. I will also tell you how you will get to a much better understanding of pitching mechanics in this game. You do not need to be in the majority of baseball players in this game who are playing in ignorance and in pain. You also do not need to worry about an injury or a quick end to your career on the operating table every time you get on the mound. You can dominate this game, talk intelligently about this game and play injury free. Here is how!
The Big Hurt of Youth Pitching
You listened to your baseball coach when he told you to "Lift Up, Down and Out." You listened to your "Pro" pitching coach when he told you to "Finish Out Front." You listened to the internet when it told you to throw weighted balls and extreme long toss. You thought you were on the right path to becoming a successful and healthy pitcher and then all of a sudden your arm started hurting, really hurting.
What could it be? It can't be your pitching mechanics because you have done everything your coaches have told you? It can't be your throwing program because you are throwing a lot to "Strengthen the Arm!" It must be because you missed something. Maybe you didn't do enough tubing exercises or ran enough poles to "Flush the Blood." Maybe it is because you didn't ice your arm or maybe because you iced your arm. Maybe it is because you workout in the fall or you did bench press or power cleans. Maybe it is because you visited this website!
Does this situation sound familiar to you? Have you been in this situation in your young pitching career one too many times? If so then I know exactly how you feel. Unfortunately, this is a sign that you have a very poor understanding of what it takes to become a high performance/healthy pitcher and now you have a good chance that this arm pain will only get worse and could lead to injury.
The real reason you are having arm pain is because of three reason as explained by the American Sports Medicine Institute in their youth position statement here. These reasons are; poor mechanics, overuse and poor physical fitness. This means you have inefficient pitching mechanics, you are throwing/pitching too much with not enough time for recovery and your joints and total body is not strong enough to handle this level of overuse. I know it is a hard pill to swallow but your hurting for a reason so open your eyes before it is too late!
Top 10 Reasons Your Arm Hurts From Pitching
ASMI has given us the 3 basic reasons to arm pain and injury but we need to get more specific if this information is going to help us end this pain and prevent injury. This is why I put together this list to help you more specifically identify the issue.
- Extreme Long Toss - Studies show that maximum distance throws are the most inefficient throws that change pitching mechanics and put excessive amounts of stress on the shoulder and elbow (2). ASMI advises caution with these throws for rehabilitation and training purposes. If you are using these type of throws then I also advise you to stop.
- Weight balls - Adding resistance to your body will increase performance but when you are already throwing a lot in-season then this added resistance to the arm can cause overuse quickly. Unless you have develop elite pitching mechanics and leg and core power then stop using these throws for training.
- Too Much Tubing Exercises - This is also adding resistance to the arm to strengthen the arm but most tubing routines use high amounts of reps which can also lead to overuse problems when throwing a lot in-season. Be very careful the amount of reps you are using in your tubing program. Try not to over fatigue the arm in-season. Just because it is a strengthen exercises doesn't mean it is always strengthening your arm. Overuse of the arm will cause weakness in the joints.
- Poor Lower Half Pitching Mechanics - Studies show a 20% decrease in kinetic energy delivered from the hip and trunk to the arm requires a 34% increase in the rotational velocity of the shoulder to impart the same amount of force to the hand (3). This means that if you do not know how to use your lower half when on the mound, like what the 3X Pitching Velocity Program trains, then you are forcing your arm to do more work every single pitch. This will quickly lead to overuse.
- Poor Hip to Shoulder Separation - This is the separation of the hips from shoulders at front foot strike. This will cause the arm to activate later in the pitching delivery which will allow more energy to transfer to the arm preventing added stress to the throwing arm.
- Poor Arm Path - The arm path of a low velocity pitcher can become very inefficient and as the pitcher tries to increase arm speed with the same poor arm path it can lead to added stress and eventual pain. The key to preventing this development of an inefficient arm path is to first learn proper technique for the arm path before you work to increase arm speed.
- Not Enough Leg Strength - Leg strength is what allows the pitcher to delivery kinetic energy to the hips and trunk which will reduce workload of the arm when it comes to generating pitching velocity. Not enough leg strength will make it impossible for the pitcher to take the work load off of the arm which will lead to overuse of the arm. The 3X Pitching Velocity Program not only trains the pitcher to use the lower half to generate arm speed but it also develops more leg strength and power with the Olympic Style strength and conditioning program.
- Not Enough Anaerobic Power Conditioning - It is not enough to just have the ability to throw a few pitches with your legs and core. You must condition your legs and core to have enough energy stored to prolong fatgiue of the lower half so you can survive a full games worth of pitches on the mound.
- Poor Diet - In-season a pitcher is always battling fatigue and overuse of the throwing arm. A sports diet is needed to support recovery of the soft tissue damage from throwing. The 3X Pitching Velocity Program comes with a full meal and supplement plan to help speed recovery and prevent overuse.
- Poor Sleep Pattern - Your sleep patterns is also another key factor in speeding up fatigue. It is critical that a pitcher get 10-12 hours of optimal sleep on a consistent schedule to help speed recovery.
Heal Your Arm Now with the Latest in Science
This Fast Arm Recovery System uses a 4 week System Calendar proven to heal the arm and rebuild it ASAP to get you back to the game. NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE AN OFF-SEASON DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM LIKE THE 3X AND 2X PROGRAMS.
This system includes two phase of training with 8 different components. The first step or phase was developed to speed the healing process and the second step or phase was built to speed the strengthening and recovery process.
If you are in pain and need help immediately to get back to the season in weeks then this is the course for you. If you are concerned about injury this isn't here to replace a doctor. Please visit a doctor before starting this course if you are injured.
Arm Pain Reference:
- Kaplan KM, Jobe FW, Morrey BF, Kaufman KR, Hurd WJ. Comparison of Shoulder Range of Motion, Strength, and Playing Time in Uninjured High School Baseball Pitchers Who Reside in Warm- and Cold-Weather Climates.Am.J Sports Med. 2011; 39(2): 320-328.
- Fleisig GS, Bolt B, Fortenbaugh D, Wilk KE, Andrews JR. Biomechanical comparison of baseball pitching and long-toss: implications for training and rehabilitation. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2011 May;41(5):296-303.
- Kibler WB, Chandler J. Baseball and tennis. In: Griffin LY, editor. , ed. Rehabilitation of the Injured Knee. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 1995:219-226.uf