What Is Little League Elbow

Pitching.Little league elbow is an overuse injury caused by stress to the inside of the elbow.  The disorder occurs in youth with open growth plates. It most commonly occurs in youth overhand pitchers but can also occur in position players in baseball, softball and tennis.  The following factors contribute to the injury:

  • Repeated overhead throwing without proper rest
  • Pitching and throwing with improper mechanics
  • Lack of muscle strength, specifically in the shoulder
  • Pitching too much

If untreated, the condition can worsen, leading to bone and/or ligament damage.  There is a small chance for premature growth plate closure or fracture involving the growth plate, which could require casting or surgery. The good news is that little league elbow will often heal completely with rest and a dedicated rehabilitation program.