Experts offer guidelines to help kids avoid little league injuries

EMBED </>More Videos

Health experts see an increase in 'little league elbow' and other ailments with the increase in baseball games and practices. (KABC)

Julian Brian Perez is pitcher that developed a condition his physician Dr. Jennifer Beck referred to as "Little League elbow." It's a common ailment for kids that play baseball.

"One day I just heard a pop in my arm, and I knew it wasn't right, so I (asked) my coach if I could sit. Then I went to my doctor, who said it was just a pulled muscle," said Perez.

"Kids are playing multiple games on multiple weekend days and having multiple practices through the week. So overuse and over training and the detriments that it has are not only their physical well-being, but their mental well-being is something that we've really been doing further research into these days," said orthopedic surgeon Jennifer Beck of the 'Orthopaedic Institute for Children.'

Beck sees overuse in sports from cheerleading to soccer. In baseball, shoulder and elbow injuries are common with pitching and throwing a requirement.

"His team is pretty hard-core, meaning they're playing every weekend. We're lucky if we get one weekend off every three months," said Perez's mother, Roxanne Leon.

In response, Major League Baseball developed the Pitch Smart program. Setting rules that determine a certain number of pitches and style of pitches specific to each age group. Many teams have implemented this including Perez's.

"If we go over 60 pitches in three innings, we get pulled out," said Perez.

But there's more to it than just the Pitch Smart program. The doctors recommend getting your kids into other sports to avoid those overuse injuries.

"Diversification I think is the important message. Everything in moderation. We want these kids to be a lifelong athletes, we don't want them to burn out of a young age," Beck said.

Perez ices his elbow, stretches, does strengthening work and listens to his doctor.

"Stretching. Really paying attention to your warm-up. Starting with low tosses, low-speed, short distances and gradually working your way up to bigger speeds and longer distances," Beck said.

Related Topics:
healthlittle leaguehobbieschildrenchildren injuriesexercisefood coach
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments