Shoulder & Elbow Pain in Baseball Players
When a baseball player presents with either shoulder or elbow pain, both areas need to be thoroughly evaluated to determine the root cause. More often than not, elbow pain is related to scapulo-thoracic dysfunction. Thorough examination of shoulder, elbow and wrist mechanics along with muscle strength testing is necessary to determine treatment and management strategies.
Depending on examination findings, treatment could include the following:
- Joint mobilizations to the shoulder, ribcage, elbow, wrist, thoracic and cervical spines
- Trigger point therapy of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor (rotator cuff). Also the wrist flexors and wrist extensors.
- Manual stretching of the shoulder muscles, scapular mobilization and forearm muscle stretches.
- Taping or bracing
- Electric muscle stimulation and ultrasound
- Laser therapy to accelerate healing
- Transverse friction massage
- Evaluation of throwing motion to prevent re-injury
Although it may be necessary in some cases to rest the throwing arm, merely resting without correction of the rhythmic motion patterns of the shoulder increases the incidence of re-injury. Thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment greatly reduces down time, speeds recovery, and gets your player back on the diamond.