Little League Elbow or Golfer's Elbow
Diagnosed as medial epicondylitis. Athletes who have “little league” elbow experience pain on the inside epicondyle due to excessive flexion of the wrist; flexing or bending the wrist forward is common when pitching a baseball, especially when throwing a curve ball.
The wrist flexor muscles/tendon originate on the medial epicondyle and become inflamed. This injury is of particular concern for young athletes. The region of the epicondyle is a growth center of the elbow and can compromise the development of bone growth in youth. If a child complains of inside elbow pain, especially if this child is a baseball pitcher, send the athlete to a Certified Athletic Trainer or other qualified person for proper care.
Prevention is Key
- Apply an ice pack to the elbow after practice, even if the elbow is not sore.
- During initial weeks of practice, start low and allow the shoulder/elbow/wrist to become accustomed to the demands of the activity.
- Include adequate warm up before intensity is increased.
- Be firm on proper/correct technique.
- Include shoulder, elbow, and wrist strengthening exercises. Include strengthening exercises during the off-season as well.
- If the athlete complains of soreness in the elbow, do not ignore the complaint. Send the athlete to a Certified Athletic Trainer or other qualified person for proper care.
Reprinted with the permission of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
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