Baseball Pitchers & Elbows, an Epidemic?

Spring is here, baseball has begun and all over this land are the sounds of bats swinging and pops in the glove of playing catch. My favorite, but emotional scene in Field of Dreams is when Kevin Costner ask his dad “Hey Dad, wanna play catch?” Kids are playing baseball year round and if not know will see the effects over time. Already this season at least seven Major League pitchers are scheduled to undergo this procedure. With Tommy John surgery now 40 years old and performed on 1000’s of pitchers it may be a time to take a look and re-evaluate.

Former major league pitcher Tommy John says it’s “unreal” that so many pitchers need elbow surgery 40 years after he was the first to undergo the procedure that now bears his name.”It’s unreal,” John told the Watertown Daily Times. “ nd it’s crazy that they would pick 2014 to be an epidemic year, it seems like guys are going down right and left.”

“Throwing pitches in the big leagues will not hurt your arm,” John told the Daily Times. “It’s what you did down the road when you were younger. … In essence, the injury itself is a buildup of overuse. And not overuse as an adult, but overuse as a kid.

“What I would like to see these guys do, these surgeons and all, is ask all the guys who have had the surgery — ‘How much did you pitch as a kid and how often, and did you pitch year-round?’ And nowadays, probably 70 to 80 percent of the pitchers today have been pitching 12 months a year since they were seven, eight or nine years old. And your arm is not made for that.”
Quotes from ESPN 4-24-2014 & Watertown Daily Times
Jim Mackie, M Ed, ATC, LAT

Published on April 24, 2014