Don’t Let Shoulder and Elbow Injuries Sideline Your Spring/Summer Sports

James Voos, MD, Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine and Head Team Physician for the Cleveland Browns, and Robert Gillespie, MD, Chief of the Shoulder Service, are fellowship-trained experts in the treatment of shoulder and elbow injuries such as Tommy John (UCL) tears, Little League elbow, shoulder labral tears, shoulder rotator cuff tears, Little League shoulder and tendinitis. Drs. Voos and Gillespie utilize personalized treatment programs to return athletes back to sports with confidence.

With an increasing number of young athletes participating in sports, shoulder and elbow injuries are rising dramatically every year. These injuries can result in pain, decreased performance, missed time from sports, shortened career length and increased stress. UH Sports Medicine specialists have the expertise to diagnose and treat athletic shoulder and elbow injuries with advanced rehabilitation, nonoperative and surgical techniques.

Tips to reduce injury in overhead athletes:

  • Limit the number of teams your child is playing on each season.
  • Avoid year-round play of a single sport.
  • Ensure coaches and players receive proper instruction and/or certification to ensure a safe playing environment.
  • Focus on age-specific throwing/serving mechanics to develop proper form.
  • Don’t throw/pitch through pain. If pain persists, see a doctor.
  • Warm up prior to throwing by stretching, running and gradually increasing throwing intensity.
  • Pay attention to age-specific guidelines for pitch counts and rest in between pitching days.
  • Major League Baseball and USA Baseball Medical Safety & Advisory Committee have well-established guidelines. Go to PitchSmart.org or http://web.usabaseball.com/news/article. jsp?mymd=20080618&contentid=33889&vkey=news_usab.
  • Strengthen your foundation. Exercises to strengthen the legs and core abdominal muscles help to protect the shoulder and elbow.
Pitch Count and Rest Recommendations Based on Age
AGE DAILY MAX (PITCHES IN GAME) REQUIRED REST (PITCHES)
0 Days 1 Day 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
7–8 50 1 – 20 21 – 35 36 – 50 N/A N/A
9–10 75 1 – 20 21 – 35 36 – 50 51 – 65 66+
11–12 85 1 – 20 21 – 35 36 – 50 51 – 65 66+
13–14 95 1 – 20 21 – 35 36 – 50 51 – 65 66+
15–16 95 1 – 30 31 – 45 46 – 60 61 – 75 76+
17–18 105 1 – 30 31 – 45 46 – 60 61 – 75 76+
19–22 120 1 – 30 31 – 45 46 – 60 61 – 75 76+

When pain or injury occurs with overhead sports, it is recommended to undergo evaluation by a qualified specialist to treat and prevent any further damage.

UH Sports Medicine physicians and physical therapists are uniquely qualified to treat athletes of all ages and skill levels.

For an appointment or consultation with a UH Sports Medicine specialist near you, call or visit: 216-983-PLAY (7529) or UHSports.org.

Request an Appointment

Request an appointment with a UH Sports Medicine specialist
216-983-PLAY216-983-7529

or use our Online Request Form

Need to Refer a Patient?

Click here for Patient Referrals