Baseball today is nothing like it was in 1953: Pitches are faster, harder, and more frequent, training sessions are more intense, and you can participate year-round and on multiple teams. So while Little League shoulder (LLS) was first described in 1953, a lot has changed in the world of overhead throwing sports, meaning a lot has changed with this injury. Heyworth et al. explored our current state of LLS and uncovered a significant increasing trend in the past 14 years.
LLS is an overuse injury specific to youth athletes when the body and bones are still growing. LLS symptoms include shoulder pain when throwing, weakness or arm fatigue, clicking noises in the arm, and shoulder instability. The study found an 8.5 percent increase in LLS diagnosis each year. Almost 90 percent of those with LLS played the pitching position, but catchers, other positions, and other sports like tennis are all at risk.
LLS can be treated with simple rest (three to four months), physical therapy, or programs to improve strength and throwing mechanics. MUSC Orthopaedics wants to help you avoid overuse injuries like LLS. If you or a family member participate in an overhead throwing youth sport, come out to the Overhead Throwing Community Workshop on February 4th where your nationally renowned shoulder, elbow, and sports medicine physicians will explain how to prevent injuries like LLS and make this season the healthiest one yet!