Today my son left a game after 1 inning with pain from the inside of his elbow, throughout his bicep, and up into the front of his shoulder. Searching the net with the symptoms and what he's telling me, it appears to be bicep tendonitis. Probably not a major worry if he rests for a couple weeks, follows some simple treatment, and eases back into sports after that.
Being a pitcher, I can understand this happening even though he takes preparation pretty serious for a kid. In the process of searching symptoms and treatments, I realized that he's had some form of similar injury to either his knee, hamstrings, ankles, or groin nearly non-stop for over 18 months. He's like the opposite of the movie "Unbreakable."
As a precaution (and we only need one more visit to fill our punch card to get a free one - ha, ha) I'm going to schedule a visit to his pediatrician who'll refer us to the orthopedist.
I'm wondering if anyone has seen anything like this before? It's probably that he's pretty big and plays a lot of sports, and maybe a little bad luck. I know that he's not faking or a hypocondriac because he goes to great extremes to get back on the field or sometimes even plays through. Not to mention there's been MRIs and the obvious disfiguring when he's broken bones.
I see a lot of "miracle cures," but is there something more he can do for prevention? Diet? Secrets? Kids (at least the ones I know) don't do anything for prevention. My son does all sorts of exercises and stretching and warm-ups because he's tired of spending all his free time doing RICE. I hope that there's no medical condition behind this, but I'm going to ask his pediatrician.
Last edited by shake-n-bake; 09-13-2009 at 11:57 PM.
I will start by saying, "I am not a doctor". The problem in his arm could be bicep tendonitis but I would bet it is not. I would guess it has to do with his neck and/or upper back. He has probably agravatted his Ulna Nerve which is found on the side of your neck. When this becomes inflamed it will send a tenderness down the front of the shoulder which will continue down the inside of the arm, to the inside of the elbow. If left alone and he continues to throw it will start to go into his wrist. If it stays inflamed and he continues to throw it will start to cause an empengment type of feeling in his shoulder and could ultimately lead to "Tommy Johns". What I gave you was worst case scenerio. Rest will help with the inflammation or you can find a sports therapist who works with accupressure.
Originally Posted by shake-n-bake
The ankles and knees: let me ask you, has your son ever been checked for flat feet? If so and he doesn't have flat feet, I would check to make sure that the shoes and cleats he is wearing are in excellent condition. My son has to always have shoes and cleats in great condition or he will start experiencing ankle and knee problems and sometimes even lower back pain. My son goes through 3 to 4 pair of cleats a year.
IMHO, Ice does nothing for a sore arm and is way overrated. My sons arm stiffness and soreness has almost completely gone away once we stopped using ice. After a long day of throwing he runs foul poles to get the blood flowing and he makes sure to run again the next day. We have found this to be way more beneficial then ice.
You are describing an acute (recent onset) condition...not a chronic one.
And it has nothing to do with his neck, but sounds isolated to the biceps tendon and/or muscle and is inflammatory in nature.
What exactly has happened, I will leave to the examining doctor.
You should look closely at your son's throwing technique to see if he is doing anything that is causing this problem.
As you know, RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Ice has its place when used during the early stages of an injury. It decreases swelling, pain and the accumulation of damaging body chemicals. Also, after the ice is removed there will be reflex increased bloodflow to encourage healing.
You can add an antiinflammatory medicine such as motrin if your son is old enough and does not have a sensitive stomach, allergies to the motrin or any other contraindications.
Note that Tylenol is not an antiinflammatory medicine.
Most importantly, get your son to the doctor soon to get the appropriate care.
An excellent on-line resource is:
Caveat: as you'll notice, not everybody who posts sports-med advice there is a doc.
I'm not a doctor.
Don't rule out growth plate seperation from the cause of the pain. Most cases involve 9-14 year olds, but it's not unheard of to effect 15-16 year olds as well. The ortho is your best bet for an accurate diagnosis.
I'm not a doctor, and I can't comment on why he has issues in many body parts, but IMO, the pain you describe in his arm, is very likely caused by improper arm motion in his throwing. I've seen that injury/pain in kids whose arm action near release, is such that they rotating the upper arm bone to make the forearm and hand go at the plate. The arm is flexed and rotated (improper), rather than flexed and extended.
Originally Posted by shake-n-bake
Does your son throw side arm alot? especially with infield practice? I notice side arm throwing will sometimes add stress to the biceps.
My wife and son returned from the orthopedist and it's not bad news. He actually has 2 injuries co-mingling. One is effecting the wrist/forearm/elbow and the second is rotator cuff tendonitis. Rest, some special exercises, and a little caution upon resuming throwing and he should be fine.
After talking with my son some more (after he'd talked with the doc) I know the exact cause of the injury. He was pitching to me a week ago and found that by changing his arm angle and cutting through the inside of the baseball, hyper-pronated, that he could go from having little bend in his 2SFB to something that looks circus like. It was uncomfortable at the time and he still threw a lot of them. Literally a kid with a new toy.
After the fact the pieces seem to fit. It didn't really hurt until the next time he threw. That happened to be when we played catch with a football. I figured it was the weight of the ball because sometimes I get a sore bicep myself throwing a football. Then the next day was game day and it was killing him.
As far as the amount of injuries, his doctor said that it's a factor of his age, his athleticism as it relates to his size, and the amount of sports (plus a little bad luck).
My original comment:
UG Dodgers, are you sure it has nothing to do with his neck?
Originally Posted by HYP
Originally Posted by UGDodgersSS#13
What caused the pain in his forearm, wrist and elbow? Like I said in my original post. It will move into his wrist. I would contact a sports medicine practitioner who works in accupressure.
Originally Posted by shake-n-bake
I didn't just pull my thoughts out of the air. I have been where you are at. I ended up going the route of the traditional doctor and ultimately needed empingment surgery.
My son started having soreness in the same places you are describing and I was lucky enough to meet someone who is into sports medicine and uses alterantive techniques. She worked on his neck along with his shoulder and elbow. His pain went away. We do see her for maintanance throughout the year and he has had no more problems.