Protecting Little League Arms - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Protecting Little League Arms

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75 years ago this week, little league baseball started.

But a lot has changed since then, especially when it comes to the commitment young players have to make.

Medical professionals and coaches say this could be hurting young and developing arms... An overuse problem. 

"It seems like the one conclusion is it always comes from fatigue. Which leads to bad mechanics," says veteran baseball instructor Barry Bilkey. 

For over 30 years, Bilkey has been teaching young pitchers the proper way to pitch and recover. 

He's seen arm injuries his entire career and says many of them come down to kids not ever learning to throw correctly, leading to injuries. 

"It's not something your normally do," says Bilkey about the pitching motion. "I've heard people say that if you are going to be a pitcher, there is going to be soreness."

That's not a thought that Bilkey agrees with.

And one that many parents of little leaguers don't want to hear either. 

"I think sometimes, early on, the kids that pitch really well tend to pitch as much as the coaches are allowed to pitch them," says parent of two little leaguers, Michelle Poole. " That does worry me because I think by the time they are old enough that pitching well matter, they might be messed up enough that they can't."

Genesis Physical Therapist, Carl Startman works with young pitchers with arm trouble, trying to help them overcome injuries from overuse. 

"I think the biggest problem with developing arms is the number of throws they are doing at at the early stages of their career," he explains. "Not just the number of throws but throwing consistently throughout the year."

Stratman works with kids as young as eight years old. 

He says the number one thing he recommends to young pitchers is completely shutting down throwing after the season, for at least three months. 

Not only shut down, but play different sports to build other muscles and take the strain off of young shoulder and elbow joints to let them heal. 

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