Youth Baseball Pitcher Eval: What basics do I include? What differences are their between older & younger pitching injuries?
I recently evaluated a youth baseball pitcher who was referred to me from another patient I treated. His original dx was muscle strain of shoulder. Now before going into the evaluation I performed, lets talk about what ideally should be included at a minimum for a youth baseball pitcher.
- Differential Dx: Youth pitchers don't get torn cuffs or SLAPs as often as older pitchers. Instead x-rays are almost a must to differentiate Little League shoulder and other growth plate injuries.
- Pitcher: How many pitches per game? How many innings per game/season? How many teams are they playing on? What is their specialty pitch? What kind of pitches do they throw each game? What kind of thrower are they- where is their arm slot? 3/4s, etc, Has their velocity increased or has their throwing mechanics changed recently?
- When do they have pain? First pitch or after many? Pain at rest? Past injuries at shoulder or elbow? Does their velocity drop significantly?
- Who is the coach/pitching coach?
- Objective: Shoulder ROM (GIRD?), Muscle imbalances (strength, stiffness), Lower extremity & core assessments, if appropriate- look at their pitching mechanics, special tests, laxity (bilateral?)- remember some laxity is normal, cardiovascular endurance
** The above is not any specific order **
What else do you include in your youth pitchers evaluations?