The elbow experiences incredibly high strains when throwing overhand. Pitchers in baseball and other throwing sports frequently encounter these high strains, which can result in severe overuse injuries.

An overuse injury develops gradually over time as opposed to an acute injury due to a fall or collision with another player. Overuse injuries frequently arise from the repetitive use of an athletic movement during isolated play periods. 

While pitchers are more likely to sustain throwing ailments in their elbows, athletes who engage in repetitive overhand pitching can also sustain these injuries.

There are some common injuries in baseball pitchers.


Flexor Tendinitis & Olecranon stress fracture

The flexor tendons on the inside side of the elbow, where they join to the humerus bone, can become irritated and inflamed with repeated throwing.

The bony portion of the elbow that protrudes is called the olecranon. Repeated throwing can strain not just the muscle but also the bone, leading to tiny fractures in the bone over time.


Tendinitis or Muscle Strain

The flexor-pronator is a powerful muscle in the upper forearm located near the elbow. It allows you to hold the ball and extend your wrist when throwing. Excessive strain might cause this muscle to swell and hurt. 

When an athlete has tendinitis, they will feel pain on the inside of their elbow when throwing, and if it gets bad enough, they may feel discomfort even when they are not throwing.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury

Baseball players frequently suffer injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament due to the high strain that throwing causes this structure. Overuse or traumatic injuries are the two main categories for UCL injuries, which can range in severity from a small amount of ligament irritation to a total tear. This is the most common reason baseball players—especially pitchers—have elbow pain.


Olecranon Stress Fracture

Olecranon stress fractures are common in younger throwing athletes due to their undeveloped bodies. Symptoms are similar to VEO, with pain most noticeable when the arm is straightened. Treatment is usually nonsurgical, but surgery may be necessary in rare cases. Recovery can take up to six months, but pain-free athletes should return to throwing and pitching.



If you experience elbow discomfort or pain, stop and rest before strenuous activity, including pitching. If pain persists, more intensive treatments may be needed. Tommy John Surgery, a serious injury that can take up to 15-16 months to heal, is highly recommended.

 Anti-inflammatory medicines can temporarily alleviate pain.


Rehab and recovery from elbow injuries

Creating a planned and staged rehabilitation program is the greatest way to prepare players to return to their sports.

 Five-step rehabilitation recovery plan:

  • Develop the stretch-shortening-cycle (the “pre-stretch” action that is observed during explosive  human movements) by introducing plyometrics
  • Build functional strength by progressing into tasks that are closer to the desired sporting  motion
  •  Reduce pain and allow the athlete to rest
  •  Add sport-specific drills.
  • To enable a good transfer to their sport, it’s crucial to integrate body regions into compound actions before a full return to play. 

Repetitive stress rehabilitation is to reduce excessive loading, increase tissue capacity, and identify the underlying reason for your athlete’s problems.

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