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Softball Pitching and Injury Rates Study Results

By: Cindy Bristow

Softball Pitching is a natural motion; it won't hurt a pitchers arm. Ever heard or said that before? If so then read on to find out the real story.

Fastpitch Softball Pitching Arm Injuries

My whole life I've heard people say that softball pitching is a natural motion and won't hurt your arm. These same people aren't doctors, or even pitchers, which is why I always found this hilarious. I'm not a doctor either but I am a pitcher and having had a pitching arm so painful that I couldn't raise my hand to drink a cup of water during a game I was pitching, I've found these comments absurd. Now learn the actual truth behind this long-held myth.

Think about it for a minute. You're standing there, at a dead stop, holding an object in your hand (any object that has some amount of weight to it) and in one quick motion you're going to try to propel this object through the air as hard and as fast as you possibly can. Doing so would require a tremendous amount of power, strength, speed and force - all things that require lots of muscles doing lots of things. Now, imagine that you're going to repeat this same process over and over and over hundreds of times a day, thousands of times a week, hundreds of thousands of times a year and millions of times over your lifetime. And now tell me - with a straight face - that it won't hurt me, and in fact, it's actually "natural". Come on&I think this whole idea of "natural" has been fostered to promote a psychotic notion of over practice on the part of the pitcher.

I've often said that there's nothing "natural" about throwing something forward as hard as you can as often as possible over years of your life. While allowing your arm to drop down (as in the underhand pitching motion) might be a more natural place for your arm to be since our arms were designed to hang down when at rest, there is nothing "natural" about using our body to throw something forward to the millionth degree. I think this whole concept of "natural" evolved from the fact that in the overhand throwing motion the arm is raised above the head being supported only by very small muscles around the shoulder joint, and our bodies aren't built with the intention of our arms being raised over our heads in a forceful manner for long periods of time.

Well now there is finally some evidence to show that softball pitching is not as "natural" as everyone has wanted to believe. In a recent study done by Dr. Nikhil Verma at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago 7 female windmill pitchers were studied using motion analysis and other scientific evaluations of their biceps muscles while they were pitching underhand and throwing overhand. Keep in mind these studies were conducted with pitchers throwing underhand and overhand at 53 mph.

What they found:

  • During the underhand pitching motion the biceps brachii works much harder than when throwing overhand.
  • The biceps are most active (or the most stress placed on it) when the pitcher is in the 9-o'clock and follow-through phases of the pitch. The 9 o'clock position is when the pitcher's hand is behind her on its way down to the release point. This makes sense as this is also the point when the arm is stretched the most.

Their conclusions:

  • Repetitive eccentric biceps contractions may help explain the high incidence of anterior shoulder pain clinically observed in elite windmill pitchers. The English version - pitching too much (which is repetitive contractions of the biceps) can explain why there are so many elite softball pitchers with pain in the front (anterior) of their shoulder (as a result of so many years of over throwing in practice and games).

What we can learn:

  1. That we should quit saying that softball pitching is a natural motion as this promotes the concept that it isn't potentially harmful - which it is.
  2. That one, two or even 100 underhand pitches won't wreck your arm. It's the constant overuse that leads to exaggerated stress on the pitcher's biceps.
  3. Be reasonable with your pitchers in regards to:
    1. Practice - both in the number of pitches they throw each day and the number of days they pitch each week.
    2. Games - Let your pitchers rest whenever they can. Don't be greedy and expect another coach to rest your pitcher whenever she gets to their team.
    3. Fatigue - Pitcher's get REALLY tired during the season, just ask them (or better yet, just watch them). Let them rest when they're tired. They won't forget how to pitch by taking a few days off.
    4. Rest - REST is VERY important to pitchers as it is to all athletes. Tired pitchers become sloppy and make mistakes and get injured. If your pitchers feel like they must throw everyday from a mental point of view then mix in some ½ and ¾ days where the pitchers only throw ½ speed at ½ distance followed by ¾ speed at ¾ distance and that's it! Practice over.
    5. Use your head and don't overdo it!

For more information on this study check it out for yourself in the March Issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

For more information on pitching check out our fantastic pitching products:

Filed under: All,Conditioning,Pitching,Practice — Tags: , , , — Cindy Bristow @ 4:08 pm


  1. My daugther is a pitcher and she was used in excess last year. She ended the season with a rib injury in the coastal cartilidge. There was no tear, the area was just inflamed and it made breathing very difficult. The solution was rest and she has been resting for 5 months and she is just getting back to pitching. As time progressed, the only motion that aggrevated the area was the windmill motion so I feel it was an overuse injury. Are there and studies about that type of injury in softball pitchers?

    Comment by Shelly — September 23, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

  2. I’m not aware of any studies in this type of injury for softball pitchers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. I do suggest that your daughter start back pitching gradually even though she’s rested for 5 months. Go slow and don’t overdue it. It is mearly a myth that softball pitching is a “natural motion”. There’s nothing natural about moving your arm as fast as you possibly can while trying to throw a 6 ounce, 12 inch ball as hard as possible as often as possible – no matter what amateurs say about it. ICE and rest are 2 of the best friends a pitcher can have. Good luck! Cindy

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — September 25, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

  3. My daughter has been battling a right groin injury for almost 4 months now. She has taken 2 weeks off a couple of times and even a month this last time, and it keeps giving her trouble. Any ideas on time and what to do about this injury? Thanks.

    Comment by Steve — October 19, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  4. Hi Steve, Sorry to hear about your daughter but it sounds like she needs to find out what she’s doing to cause the injury and solve that first – then add rest and she should start to see improvement. If she’s a pitcher, then I’m guessing she keeps her weight over her back foot too long through the motion which will really create a strain on the inner groin. Ask her what skill she does, or position within a certain skill, and you’re on your way to solving the problem.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — October 20, 2010 @ 7:28 am

  5. My daughter pitched a 2 hour game one day and the next her arm was starting to hurt where she couldnt throw things and and it also hurt near the rib part. Is this common and will it harm her pitching career?

    Comment by Cameron — February 19, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  6. For a lot of young pitchers who aren’t used to pitching an entire game, whenever they do so it can really place a lot of strain on their arms and shoulder area. While this doesn’t mean they actually injured their arm it does mean they should always ice it after pitching and rest it until it feels better. Tell your pitchers to warm up good, stretch good and ice after pitching – this kind of routine will help prevent any long term injuries that can result from overuse. As long as her pitching mechanics are good then she should be fine after some ice and rest.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — February 22, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  7. Hi Cindy! Thanks for this information on softball pitching and related injurys. I’ve played baseball and fastpitch softball for many years and I can tell you that I’ve had way more injuries throwing overhand than I have pitching underhand. However, any excessive motion over a long period of time can cause muscle and joint related problems if proper care is not taken. The more popular term would be ‘burn out’ from overuse. From what I’ve seen in baseball, there are many more injuries that occur to not only the shoulder but also to the elbow and wrist. These injuries are caused by significantly more torsion on the elbow as the arm snaps back to extend the arm through the throwing action in baseball-remember Tommy John? In 1974, Tommy had ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, which is a surgical procedure in which a ligament in the medial elbow is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body (often from the forearm, hamstring, knee, or foot of the patient). The procedure is common among collegiate and professional athletes in several sports, but most notably baseball.

    Whereas, in softball the biceps brachii contracts and extends in a flexing motion which actually contributes to the development of muscle in response. Ty Stofflet is an example, out of Reading, PA who was clocked at 104 mph and one of the faster pitchers to have ever played the game. Ty’s left arm was considerably larger than his right arm. You do not generally see that kind of muscle development in baseball pitchers. In defence of underhand pitching, and in my old school opinion, it’s really more of a natural motion versus throwing overhand given that there is more muscle development in softball pitchers than there is in baseball pitchers…or least in theory.

    Comment by Kevin — May 21, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

  8. I have been a competitive softball pitcher since I was 10 and now I am 17. I had to have knee surgery for a torn lateral meniscus when I was 11. After this Varsity softball season, I will be having knee surgery on the same knee to take out the whole lateral shelf on my knee. All caused by being extremely overworked as a pitcher when playing at the school, in the Dixie league, and on a travel ball team. 2 years ago I had to take a month off, because I was pitching 20- 7 inning games almost every week. Now both I and the other pitcher on my school team (who has never had any pitching related injuries) are experiencing a severe pain about 2 inches to the left of our belly buttons. The pain begins after we have warmed up, and we have eased in to full out pitching. The pain is most intense in the 9 o’clock position. Does this mean that our injuries could become a new “common” fastpitch pitcher’s injury or is it just coincidence that we were both injured in the exact same spot while doing the exact same thing?

    Comment by Michelle — March 1, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  9. Hi! My daughter is a main pitcher on her team and when we practiced the shoulder blade on her right arm hurt. (She’s a rightie) Will it gradually get better on its own? Is it serious? Also, she pitched about 40 balls and took a 5 minute break, batted for 5 mins and played catch another 5 minutes. Then she pitched 20 more then we went home. She’s 11 and plays 12u. Any advice?

    Comment by Melissa — March 17, 2012 @ 1:00 am

  10. It sounds like she might just be sore from pitching – particularly if she hasn’t really pitched in a while. It doesn’t seem like she pitched too much so that’s good. Always ice after pitching and don’t overdue it.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — March 19, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

  11. Hi Cindy! Ran across this website while trying to find information on some pains my daughter has been having. To keep it as short as possible. She’s a 10U pitcher who pitches only a couple innings twice a week along with a 30 minute pitching lesson once a week. She’s had 3 nagging pains that aside from going to a sports Dr. (which is our next move if rest and ice don’t help) I can’t tell why she’s getting these. The first is her Achilles tendon area in her right foot. Her chiropractor suggested ice and the use of rock tape. That pain seemed to subside for a couple months but now yesterday she said it started again. The second was knee pain. The left knee almost directly under the knee cap. Again ice and rest has been our only known help. And it doesn’t seem to be doing a heck of a lot. Here recently, and this has me the most worried, is she has pain in her right forearm, below the elbow on the radius and brachioradialis muscle. She is a right handed pitcher. I don’t know if any of these have been “growing pains” or simple aches. But the fact that they have ALL lingered and caused her such discomfort is me concerned. She doesn’t seem to be over pitching. Her pitching coach is concerned that her technique could be causing the arm pain. After the release of the ball she tends to torque her hand and wrist upside down (roll it over) which he is trying to correct. Basically, given your advise on other injuries and my lack of finding any of the same pitching “pains” on my internet search, do you think these are all pitching related? She’s very active however I do have a concern that we haven’t had her do any real strength training exercises and maybe that’s another reason she’s experiencing these…. Thanks so much. Sorry for any rambling. :)

    Comment by Amanda — April 18, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

  12. Hi Amanda – without actually seeing your daughter pitch, or talking to her regarding other things she might be doing in heavy doses (aside from pitching), I couldn’t begin to guess what’s causing all of these different pains. I think it’s time to talk to a doctor but try to make a list of the various activities she does throughout a week, even if they don’t seem like much to her or you. No one thing might be doing it but instead it could be the combination…who knows at this point. I do know that the fact that when she follows through her hand rolls over shouldn’t be a problem – as long as that roll over happens after release and not before or during.
    Best of luck finding the cause and most importantly the cure!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — April 19, 2012 @ 9:17 am

  13. ok so i have a 13 yr old step daughter that is learning to pitch on her softball team, her dad told her she wasnt going to because he didnt want her to tear up her arm, now the step son that is 12 has been pitching in little league for 2-3 years and he is ok with that not worried about arm problems.. i told him to let her pitch and was looking for some info on which is harder on the arm and which would have the better chance for an injury so he would let her pitch..

    Comment by mitch — April 28, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  14. My daughter was our only pitcher for about 3 years and she pitched every game. Now she is complaining with her shoulder hurting her and when she tries to pitch in a game she has a knot pop up on her shoulder blade. She has had an mri and they didnt find anything,but she is still havin problems. Do you have any idea what is causing this? She also sad that the ice and meds are’nt helping. And now she said that when she is sitting at her desk for a prolonged period of time she has a sharp pain shoot down her back. She started playing at age 12 and is now 16.

    Comment by Robin — August 13, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  15. Hi Robin -
    Sorry to thear that your daughter has so much pain from pitching. That shouldn’t be the case as long as she’s not overusing her arm. If you’re sure she’s not overusing it, then the pain would be from too much tension in her shoulders during the motion and/or improper mechanics. It sounds like her her upper back and back shoulder muscles are too strained from her pitching. You should have her motion analized for proper technics and tension. I hope that helps you!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — August 13, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

  16. Hi Cindy.
    I was in a slopitch league this year, pitching 2 games a week, and also practice pitching 2 times a week for a total of pitching 4 times a week 2 hours each. Well, I would pitch, and after a while, of course I would get tired, but my fingers would swell up and whole entire arm would go numb sometimes where I couldn’t pick up the ball. We played 7innings and this usually happened within the 5th or 6th inning, now ball season is over, my arm isn’t numb like it used to be, but now, I get a sharp pain every now and then in the front of my shoulder blade, working its way down my arm, making it go numb for the minutes that its in pain. ( I have kept time on how long it hurts, and longest is 20 mins, shortest is 10mins) is this normal? What should I do ?

    Comment by Amanda Third — August 22, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  17. Amanda – this doesn’t sound normal, especially for slow pitch. Go see a doctor! Cindy

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — August 23, 2012 @ 9:13 am

  18. My daughter is eleven. We are recovering from overuse injury to her shoulder. Best advice we got was not to overdue it when young. Good point doctor made was when do you want your pitcher to peak? She injured herself in an end of season tournament pitching consecutive games. It was a bittersweet victory to win the championship but injure her arm. We had thought about playing on more competative teams but not at this time. Something we are now aware of, young pitchers like my 11 year old still have developing growth plates, it’s makes them vulnerable to injuries. Now we are rethinking how we approach pitching. She will play on competition teams in future but in a limited capacity we are limiting her pitching and advocating for coaches to protect young players.

    Comment by Denise — October 25, 2012 @ 4:49 am

  19. Hi Cindy. I was wondering if you have ever heard of any pitchers suffering from severe swelling in their fingers that occurs during pitching? My daughter is 14. It started last year after she broke her index finger playing basketball, but her index finger doesn’t swell – only her middle, ring and pinky fingers. I have gotten opinions from parents differing from ulnar nerve irritation to she just isn’t pitching correctly. We have an appointment with a hand specialist next week, but I saw this site and thought I’d ask for your input. Thanks!

    Comment by Melissa — November 8, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  20. Hi Melissa – You’re doing the right thing by going to a doctor to find out the problem. I sure wouldn’t try and solve it asking parents. Sounds like something in her pitching is causing her fingers to swell, but without watching her I have no clue what that would be. Going with the doctor is the right approach! Best of luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — November 11, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

  21. Thank you! As a follow-up, she was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. PT was prescribed. No pitching either. We will see how she does after therapy. Thanks again!

    Comment by Melissa — January 10, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

  22. Hi, My daughter is 16 and pitches for her travel team and her highschool neither of which rarely use her for more than one complete game at a time both teams have 4 pitchers. She has had several injuries along the way though. Yesterday she was practicing and said her arm felt dead, like she had no blood flow in her arm. She does have a bursitis dx in her shoulder. But she wants to continue to play. She also gets huge nots in her shoulder blades and most recently in her back???? Any suggestions??

    Comment by Nicol Ramsey — February 12, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

  23. Go see a doctor! We can’t guess when it comes to possible injuries so always better off safe, than sorry! Hope it’s nothing and she’s good to go! Good luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — February 13, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

  24. Thank you for talking about a problem that is much greater than anyone will admit. Our daughter is 17 years old she plays travel ball. Also she is the varsity pitcher in high school. As such she pitched in every varsity game this year.
    Thanks to all of this she had surgery on her arm for a laberal tear and biceps muscle fray (the doctor said he had never seen this in someone so young before and this type of injury is seen in older people who have had a lifetime of repetitive use). The laberal had to be attached in three different places. Also we have spent several thousand dollars on pitching lessons that may never help her. Hopefully she will be get better and be able to pitch again. Note it is 200 miles to a good pitching coach round trip.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    Comment by Marvin — February 18, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

  25. hi,im 16 and i pitch for my high school softball team.I’m the only pitcher, and I pitch every game. I have been having a terrible pain in the back of my bicep. it hurts so bad that I cant even lift my arm over my head. its been messing my pitching up. i never had this pain before, and I’ve been pitching since i was 9. this was just recent when i started having this pain.I’m not sure if I pulled something, its strained, or something serious. what do you think I should do?

    Comment by April — February 21, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  26. You need to go see a doctor. Make sure you ice your arm after you pitch, but get with your parents and set up an appointment to see a doctor since your arm should not hurt like that from pitching. Good luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — February 21, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  27. Wow, Marvin!! While I am sad this happened to your daughter, I can’t say I’m surprised. Once a pitcher becomes good coaches can’t bring themselves to rest her. While their logical brain knows she might need some rest, their competitive brain won’t allow it on their team…and so it goes with every team she’s on. The end result is that she NEVER rests, is overworked, pitches FAR too much and as in your daughter’s case – ends up injured. We all need to realize that 1 game won’t hurt a pitcher, but it’s never just that one game in isolation. It’s pitch after pitch after pitch, day after day after day, year after year after year! REST. Pitch less, and create quality over quantity! I hope your daughter is able to recover! All the best – Cindy

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — February 21, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

  28. Hi Cindy
    I had a discussion with a local pitching coach and he claims that pitchers who bring the hip through after release end up with more shoulder injuries. Have you found this to be the case?

    Comment by Paul Dent — March 20, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  29. I’ve not found that to be the case at all. If you bring the hip through before release, you can’t release the ball because your hip’s in the way. Bringing the hip through depends on the pitch, but every good pitcher brings her hip through, and not all have shoulder injuries. I have found that most shoulder injuries result #1 from over use, and #2 from a slow hand at release that then strains the chest/shoulder muscles.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — March 20, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  30. Hey Cindy,
    I think that something that is not really discussed is the higher incidence of stress fractures of the Ulna due to force + spin. I think that it occurs mainly in pitchers who pronate their hand either when throwing a drop curve, turnover, or pronating to finish FB – not sure about curve. Happened to my DD, now I’m learning about others that had same issue. Pain is deep in middle of forearm. Shut down for 8-10 weeks – missing freshman year of HS. Just thought that i would add to the string. Will share a link to another case – you speak to a lot of kids, so this may be useful. Best, Don

    Comment by Don Hunter — March 21, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  31. Hi Cindy I also am a AAA/AA men’s fastpitch softball pitcher and worked in sports medicine 24 years. I found a way to liven up my arm with series of exercises that allowed me to have “O” arm issues to the point of throwing 6 games on weekends and 2 during the week and back the next weekend.The reason I’m telling you this is there is a way to be almost tireless and never have shoulder issues The other point I wish to make is The ASA NEEDS TOO CHANGE ITS 2 FEET ON RULE AS THIS PUTS HUGE PRESSURE ON THE SHOULDER AND ROTATOR CUFF!!!!!! THE SOLUTION LET THEM STEP THROUGH LIKE THE MEN DO!!!! They tried to makes us go back to the same rule and that winter in the ASA meetings they had masses show up and demand they change the rule and they did! My Recommendation is contact their insurance and tell them that the liability of a rule that ONLY HURTS YOUNG ARMS BETTER BE EXAMINED by an exercise physiologist! They WILL CHANGE IT!!

    Comment by Bill — April 16, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

  32. It would sure make things easier if they’d make that change!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — April 16, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

  33. Hello,

    My daughter has been released for a shoulder strain and her muscles are weak. They cause her to have some popping in her top part of the shoulder between the shoulder and neck. The doc said gradually work back into it and get her arm strong again. She is a high 50s low 60s pitcher and lots of junk. When do we start pitching again, it has been about 3 weeks since she has been release, a major difference in what it was before.

    Comment by Gerry Poe — May 1, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

  34. You need to progress under the guidance of an orthopedic doctor. But once she builds her strength back up she could start lightly pitching – meaning not 100% speed and not longer than 20 minutes at first. Always ice afterwards.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — May 2, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

  35. Hi Cindy My daughter has been a picture since she’s been 10 She’s 13 now She’s never complained about any injury: today however she seemed to have an injured her arm to me it feels like the tendon between the bicepbicep in the forearm. what can I do to relieve her pain and what action should I take to heal her injury?

    Comment by Jessica — May 2, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

  36. ICE it, REST it, and if it continues then get her in to see an orthopedic doctor

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — May 3, 2013 @ 10:57 am

  37. Hi Cindy,

    My daughter is 14 years old and has been pitching for the past couple of years. She just recently hurt her arm in a game. She says she felt it instantly after a pitch. She says its her elbow that is sore. It feels fine until she tries to straighten it out and then it hurts. She describes it as it almost feels “locked”. Hope that description helps. On average she pitches in 2 games a week and practices every other day. However this past week she pitched in her league, a tournament, for the school team and practiced. Could it just be over use and needs to rest?

    Thanks for the help!!!

    Comment by Trevor — May 14, 2013 @ 9:35 am

  38. Go see a doctor. While overuse could be causing the problem you need a professional to diagnose the actual problem. Good luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — May 15, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  39. just for parental forewarning… i am now a “forced retired” softball player in the regards that i cannot play anymore. as i write this i am writing with 1 hand because my other hand is in a sling due to pitching injury. this is the second surgery in a year… overal in my shoulder (because of pitching) i had a full labral tear, rotator cuff TEARS, bone fragments that led to soft tissue tears, bicep tendon shredding, bone spurs, and clavical clean up…. it was over use, over play, and not enough rest. as the #1 college pitcher i was continually pushed to perfect my pitches — backwrd change up, curve, drop (front on the of drop and back of the box drop), screw, fastball, and drop curve… this is not to scare parents or pitches but to show how extreme some “small pain” can become… 2 weeks before the full on injury i complained about sharp pain in my arm where my bicep tendon meets the shoulder only to be told it was tendonitis and to take 2 weeks off during preseason… fastforward 3 weeks, i dive back to a base and my shoulder comes cleanly out of the socket that i do not even realuze and when i stand up all feeling was lost in my arm.. saw the school doctor was told it was a small subscapular tear and there was nothing to do for it but he was going to send me for an mri “just in case”… once we got those results and the xrays that the surgeon i chose to go to ordered we had our diagnosis, not good…. by the time all this was figured out i had finished the season PITCHING in excruciating pain…first round of surgery the surgeon had a rough time even navigating through my shoulder because, in his words, it looked like a firecracker went off in my shoulder he fixed thebone fragments, labrum (totally detached by this point), and rotator cuff… we thought it would be the end but when i was still complaining of pain and inability to sleep 8-9 months after surgery it sent up red flags and sure enough there was more… so as i sit here in this sling once again i blame myself for “letting myself get hurt” but over the years was it really my fault? i went from lifting 50-60 lbs no problem to just lifting the gallonof milk to make my morning cereal… i am just writing to let you on here know what years of overwork and stress on the shoulder as a pitcher will do..

    Comment by JM — June 5, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  40. JM – Thanks for your comments and I’m so sorry to hear about your injuries!!! I completely agree with we over-pitch our pitchers far too much. Especially if they’re good! Everyone knows they need to rest but nobody wants them to do it on their team. Overusing anything with the force and repetition involved in becoming a good pitcher isn’t healthy for your arm. We all need to take better care of our pitchers – all of us. Best of luck on a full and complete recovery! Cindy

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — June 5, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

  41. I’m a center fielder for my high school softball team and travel ball team. I don’t pitch at all, just outfield and some infield. I have bad pains in my bicep while throwing and it makes my fingers go numb quick. I get bad pains in my rotator cuff. I have already took off a season with my high school, but I ain’t sure if I’m ready for travel ball. Any suggestions on what to do? Thanks! :)

    Comment by countrychic18 — June 13, 2013 @ 1:41 am

  42. Go see a doctor!!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — June 14, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

  43. I was the only pitcher on my high school team this year and due to rain, I pitched an excessive amount. 10 games in one week, 4 of those days being double headers. I’ve had a couple weeks rest, but I’ve gained a sore wrist and shoulder that crack and my traps are tight. Is there a gentle way to work my way back into things without aggravating my arm anymore?

    Comment by Caitlin — June 15, 2013 @ 1:17 am

  44. First of all, rest and ice your arm as much as you can. Then, when it’s time to practice, do so from closer and do it slower for a day or 2. Eventually your arm will recover and then you can go full distance and full speed. If the pain persists then see a doctor. Good luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — June 17, 2013 @ 8:49 am

  45. I have a quick question, my daughter is a u14 ASA A pitcher, the other day while stretching she said she thought she herd (felt??) a pop in the knee cap area. Every since ( this was 4 days ago) after pitching 2 innings she asks to be pulled out for the pain. It doesn’t bother her most of the time. I have herd of knee problems with pitchers. She says when the pain comes it’s in the middle of the knee and is painful. We ice 20 min. on then off, etc. Now we’re going to rest it for several days, Any ideas beside the Orthopedic?

    Comment by Jocko — June 23, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  46. Hi I am a pitcher, i’m 14 years old and have been pitching since i was 10. This year has been the toughest. My back hurts more than it ever has to the point where I cant sleep or do much turning, or bending. The thing is, I always crack my back (twist it both ways)so honestly I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I’m a right handed pitcher, so my whole upper back hurts, but my right hurts most. I haven’t told my coach, so just last weekend I pitched in major pain. I really don’t know what to do. All i’m doing at this point is going to the chiropractor. Any thoughts on what else to do?

    Comment by Samantha — June 23, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  47. You should probably see a doctor just to make sure everything is ok. But it sounds to me like your shoulders are too stiff when you’re releasing the ball so you’re using all upper body and back to bring your hand through the release. Try pitching closer – about 30 feet away – and slower and let your shoulder/back stay relaxed as you release the ball. Your arm should just drop down behind you instead of leaning back with your head and using your chest to pull the ball through the release point. Good luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — June 25, 2013 @ 10:26 am

  48. Sounds like a knee cap issue – go see a doctor. She’s growing and sometimes growth spurts impact the knee cap. Err on the side of caution. Good luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — June 25, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  49. I’m 15 and am a softball pitcher for my high school JV team and am currently playing in a rec league for the summer. Over a month ago, I was pitching BP at practice when my arm began to hurt/feel sore (not that bad of pain). I continued pitching because occasionally this has happened and I would be fine just minutes later. Ten minutes later, the pain had become much more severe so I told my coach I was tired and stopped. I had been pitching for about an hour-ish. At this point even an overhand throw was painful. Leaving practice, I could barely move my arm without intense pain. I iced it that night, and the next day the pain was barely there, but I could still feel it.
    A week or two later, I pitched a full game with pain near the very end and afterwards. I iced, and it was mostly gone the next day. Since then, I’ve only pitched a few times and stopped when my arm started hurting. Also, the number of pitches I can do without pain has been decreasing.
    Last week, I tried to use a compression sleeve. I pitched relief, and pitched for two innings before the pain came back. It hurt intensely when I tried to take the compression off, so I left it on for probably 30 minutes before icing.
    The pain in my right arm (I’m right handed) is mostly at my bicep, but occasionally occurs in my whole upper arm. Note, there is no pain in my forearm or shoulder. I’ve also noticed that even if I stop relatively soon one the pain begins, my arm will continue to hurt worse no matter what I’m doing, though it will go much quicker if I’m still pitching.
    My parents are aware of this, and now my dad won’t let me pitch at all for a while.

    Comment by Maggie — July 8, 2013 @ 12:44 am

  50. You need to go and see a doctor just to make sure you haven’t hurt anything. Take care of your arm!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — July 9, 2013 @ 11:57 am

  51. Hi, My daughter is 13 and has been learning to pitch for about 3.5 months but been playing for a couple years. For the first time this week she has devoped a pain under her left (throwing arm) armpit. Our normal routine has been to do various drills to work on snapping and power line etc. We average 3 days a week with some less but never than 4. After a full session I would guess she doesn’t throw more than 60 pitches total with only about 25-30 from 35 or 40 feet. We’ve worked out consistently for the last few weeks and three times this week so far. Her strength, speed, and accuracy has dramtIcally improved in the last few weeks. So, we worked Monday with no problem then Tuesday she heard a pop about three inches under the middle of her armpit, slightly toward the front (right on the bra line). She was able to throw a few more pitches but the pain continued with each pitch so we stopped. We rested 2 days and then threw again today. No problem at first. We stretched, did small snap drills,and then started close…no problem until she dropped back to about 30-35′. Then another pop and then clicking with a few more throws. She can even recreate the clicking with out a ball at about 30-40% effort in the 8 to 9 o’clock position. It is slightly sore to the touch but no bruising and no pain doing other activities such as hitting. We plan to ice and rest for about a week, but i was just wondering if you’ve heard of this before and if there is any reason for concern or any other advice. Thanks!

    Comment by Jim — August 9, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

  52. Hi, one more question. You mention in your Mar 20, 2013 post that your #2 reason for chest / shoulder strain is a result of “slow hand at release.” What does this mean? Thanks

    Comment by Jim — August 9, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

  53. It means that the pitcher’s hand is so slow going through the bottom that it’s actually behind her and her chest then pulls her hand forward. This causes a lot of strain on the shoulder that’s basically a result of a slow hand at the release point. Does that help?

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — August 20, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

  54. go see a doctor!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — August 20, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

  55. Hi um when I pitch my lower left back hurts when I’m on my period. Do you no what’s the problem? I play travle ball and I at classic soccer and they are going on at the same time right now. Is that the problem

    Comment by Brittany — September 4, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

  56. See if that happens again next month, if so then that just might be the issue. If it continues hurting then go see a doctor.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — September 5, 2013 @ 10:33 am

  57. My Daughter is 14 and has been pitching for five years. Recently, she’s been having bad wrist pain when she pitches, but she is pitching amazing. The fall season is almost over so she continues to pitch waiting it out. She takes turns with the other pitchers because we are in a league, so the next league game she pitches isn’t for two weeks, but this weekend she is guesting for a 18u team. is there anything that she could wear while not pitching or do to make the pain go away?

    Comment by Megan — October 1, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

  58. She should ice it, rest it and see a doctor if the pain persists

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — October 2, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

  59. Hi Cindy, My daughter is 14 and has been pitching for at least 6 years. She has been playing travel for 2 years now and throws an average of 1.5 – 2 games per week as well as practices 2 to 3 times 30 – 40 minutes per session.She on average throws at least 500 – 700 reps a week She has a bad habit of a slow hand at release that we have been trying to correct. This has really effected her speed and velosity and now she has developed pain in shoulder area. after some research it seems to be either deltoid bersa or long bicip tendon inflamation. We have appt with orthopidic specialist this week. Can this bad habit be contributing to her shoulder issues & what excersises and drills would you recommend to help correct this bad habbit.

    Comment by Mike — November 19, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

  60. Hi Mike, you’re doing the right thing by taking her to see a doctor. While something about her pitching (either the mechanics or the volume, or both) are cuasing the problem, you first want to make sure their isn’t a severe injury of any sort. And then, I’m guessing, without seeing her pitch, that it’s a combination of too much pitching and her slowing down at her release point. In order for her arm to slow down her muscles have to engage and act as brakes. Those sound like the muscles that are sore. A great drill to help her feel more relaxed and know what it means to have a faster hand at release is our Basketball Pitch: Good luck and I hope it’s good news from the doctor!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — November 22, 2013 @ 8:32 am

  61. My daughter is 18. She has signed to play D1 softball. At the beginning of her junior season in high school she started getting numbness in her thumb and first two fingers during games. Her hand would swell too after pitching, especially when it was cold. She is the only pitcher they have so she is used in every game. During last summer, she was one of 4 pitchers on her travel team. The weather was warmer and she pitched less than she did in high school. While she still had the same numbness and swelling, it wasn’t as bad as it was during the high school season. During the fall season with her travel team, there were often only 2 pitchers at the tournaments so she got more pitching time. The last tournament was in November and it was very cold. The numbness and swelling were as bad that weekend as it was during the high school season. About a month prior to this, she noticed a knot on the top of her right wrist (throwing hand). We decided after that last tournament to see an ortho doc. He did an X-ray. His initial diagnosis was carpal tunnel and a ganglion cyst and sent her for nerve testing. The tests showed mild carpal tunnel and he suggested physical therapy. She had 6 treatments of ART which is Active Release Technique. The chiropractor said he thought it was more an issue of the radial nerve (nerve on top of wrist) than the median nerve (runs on bottom of wrist through the carpal tunnel). He spent about 3 hours in total working to release those nerves. He worked on her hand, wrist, bicep, tricep and then into her neck. While she felt better, she was taking a rest from pitching and the ganglion cyst was getting larger. She had it surgically removed 12 days ago by the original ortho doc. He told her she could start doing whatever she felt like she could do as soon as she wanted. She is easing back into working out. Today, 12 days after the surgery she threw over hand. While it was stiff, it loosened up the more she threw and she felt ok. Then she tried to pitch. She said the pain of pitching was awful and now her hand is swollen. The ART chiropractor says she should be fixed after his treatments. I’m wondering if she just tried to start back pitching too soon after the cyst removal or if her original issue with the hand swelling is not resolved.

    Comment by Tammy — December 18, 2013 @ 12:15 am

  62. Hi Cindy. Last high school softball season I injured my elbow and it has bothered me since. I get this pain on the inner part of my elbow that goes all the way up to my rotator cuff, both when I pitch and throw overhand. I have worn an elbow brace and it helped a little bit and I do ice after softball but things don’t seem to be getting better. Do you have any Idea on what may be going on or what i Should do?

    Comment by Haley Schmidt — January 19, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

  63. Haley – you should go see a doctor. Preferable an orthopedic doctor

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — January 21, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

  64. how many people per year rip a neve do to this

    Comment by w — April 1, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

  65. Can I just say what a comfort to find someone
    who really understands what they are discussing on the internet.
    You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More and more people must check this out and understand this side of
    your story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular since you certainly have
    the gift.

    Comment by Emelia — April 5, 2014 @ 1:22 am

  66. Thanks, and welcome!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — April 5, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

  67. Cindy –

    My daughter is 12 & has been pitching since she was 9.
    She doesn’t do a lot of it.
    She had a shoulder issue 2 years ago in the beginning of the season.
    She went to an orthopedic doctor who said it will be fine with rest, and found the rubber band exercises, which it did.
    She was able to finish the season that year without pain.
    This year she didn’t do much off season pitching due to the bad weather.
    She started doing light training about a month ago. One session per week, about 70 pitches per session.
    She also is a gymnist and trains at that twice per week.
    Her softball season hasn’t started yet.
    She is having pain in her right shoulder (she is a righty).
    It is from the clavicle to the outside of the shoulder, and down to the end of the shoulder.
    She has not done her rubber band exercises at all over the winter.
    Her outter part of right shoulder looks a little bigger than the left shoulder.
    I want to take her to a sports medecine doctor.
    Any advice would be great.


    Comment by Mike — April 15, 2014 @ 11:40 am

  68. Definitely sounds like she needs to see a specialist. And judging by the limited amount of softball throwing (over or underhand) she’s done versus the amount of gymnastics…I’m guessing that gymnastics might be the culprit. But, of course, just a guess. Best of luck! Cindy

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — April 16, 2014 @ 9:27 am

  69. Cindy,
    I added a post on Dec. 18th but didn’t get a response. Since then my daughter has been loosely diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. She is seeing a chiropractor for treatment and it helps for a while, hand starts hurting and swelling again, goes back for more treatment, helps for a while….She’s in this constant back and forth right now. With her going off to college in 4 months, I don’t know what to do. I really don’t want her to have surgery because you never know if that will fix it. Input?

    Comment by Tammy — April 16, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

  70. With a recurring problem something is definitely still a problem. I’m not a doctor so won’t try to be but I would get another opinion or 2, and it might need to end up being fixed surgically. But, maybe not. 2nd and 3rd opinions don’t hurt.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — April 17, 2014 @ 9:39 am

  71. Hi Cindy,
    my daughter has been pitching since she was 9, although her pitching has been limited over the years. She never experienced any pain until this year if HS softball. She’s a freshman and her coach decided she would be his only pitcher this year after losing his only pitcher last year to graduation. So he would have her pitching for the full 2 hours that they practiced and then we started the season off with 2 double headers. After the first double header that she pitched both games she complained about some arm pain and he told her she was just sore. We iced it and the next day she was warming up and started to cry because the pain was so bad. Her coach gave her 3 Aleve and told her he needed her cause he didn’t have anyone else. Keep in mind I wasn’t aware of the severity of her pain and I didn’t know she cried during warm up. After the double header she had bruising around her elbow and tricep area. I immediately took her to the doctor and he said it was a muscle strain and said she needed to rest it. However, my daughter says she has no pain when throwing over hand only when pitching. She is a good player and so her coach was playing her in different positions on the field. Her coach was very upset but had no choice than to work another girl to pitch. She was to get full range of motion and has been undergoing physical therapy to help calm the injury and strengthen her arm before easing back into her pitching so after about 3 weeks her coach was to ease her back into pitching at a 20% grade and if no pain moving up to 30% and so on until she could pitch at 100%. Well he didn’t do that and had her pitching at full speed right away. Her bruising immediately returned and he insists that she’s hitting her hip. She had to stop pitching again. This time we rested her for 3 weeks and did the graded return ourselves without telling the coach. She pitched 1 game and her arm started hurting her again. She was then tested for s We got an MRI and took her to an Ortho who told us she needed to sit out the rest of season. Her MRI showed no tearing but the Ortho was concerned with the bruising. My question to you is have you ever heard of an arm injury where only underhand pitching is causing pain but overhand has no pain? Her coach also believes that there is no such thing as over use in underhand pitching as he used his last pitcher every game for the last 4 years. I believe this to be the reason why her coach is not taking her injury serious. I know you’re not a doctor, and trust me we’ve been to plenty of doctors and therapists and ortho and the mri’s and everything you can do to make this better not only physically but emotionally as she is worried about her arm, I only want your opinion as a pitcher, coach and having heard and probably seen a lot of pitchers if you have heard of someone being able to throw overhand but not underhand as the consensus out there is that overhand is much more strenuous on your arm.

    Comment by Sarah — April 23, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

  72. On a side note…my daughter is a lot smaller than last years pitcher. I know it is overuse that caused this injury and as a result she has to sit out the rest of season. I don’t believe her smaller frame was ready to handle the amount of pitching he was making her do and she needed more time to build up to the amount of pitching he wanted. I’m angry that after seeing her cry he numbed her with Aleve and still made her pitch. I should have been more aware and not let her pitch that second day. Warning to the parents, it is our responsibility to ask about pain and to override the coaches decision in the best interest of our daughters. There is absolutely overuse in underhand and we need to start having pitch counts to protect our daughters.

    Comment by Sarah — April 23, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

  73. First off, I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s injury! Anything that makes a player cry AND results in bruising would constitute pain and an injury. You’re right, I am not a doctor, but, here is what I do know:
    1. I can’t tell you what hurts you – only you can do that. I know what hurts me, but NOT what hurts you!
    2. Coaches should ALWAYS have their player’s best interest and safety at heart, and not just when it’s convenient.
    3. Ignoring a doctors order for an athlete to rest is irresponsible and selfish.
    4. Anyone who thinks that pitching underhand cannot cause injury from overuse has never pitched underhand, as hard as possible, for longer than is logical. Overuse causes injury – whether it’s overhand, underhand, sidearm or simply running.
    5. I agree with the doctor that the bruising is a cause for concern.
    6. I’ve never heard of overhand not hurting but underhand hurting – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Clearly, it is.
    7. There’s a BIG difference between “more strenuous” and “a natural motion” or “doesn’t hurt your arm”. The common fallacy is that overhand hurts your arm and underhand doesn’t. It’s true, overhand places more stress on the shoulder since the only way you can keep your arm above your head is to use your muscles to hold it in place. While we can hold our arm down to our sides without using any muscles at all. BUT – holding our arm down to our side is a LONG way from letting go of a pitch you’ve thrown as fast as you possibly can using the windmill motion. It’s the tremendous amount of force needed to throw a pitch as fast as possible, combined with the tremendous amount of practice, warm up and game pitches that softball pitchers are forced to throw that lead to severe injuries as bad as any seen in baseball. Overuse is overuse.

    Coaches must never put their greed to win over the health of their players. Period! No matter what position that player plays and how important she might be to the team’s success. Coaches don’t stand for selfish players so they shouldn’t become selfish coaches.

    That’s what I think about it…I hope your daughter gets to rest her arm. There is either something physically injured inside her arm/shoulder or she’s doing something wrong mechanically in her pitching – or I’m guessing a little of both.


    Comment by Cindy Bristow — April 25, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

  74. My daughter is complaining that when she catchs the ball her shoulder hurt really bad could it b for pitching?

    Comment by justin — April 27, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

  75. It sounds like you need to have a doctor look at it. Always better safe than sorry! Good luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — April 28, 2014 @ 2:28 pm

  76. Hi, my daughter just turned 17 and just got diagnosed with early onset shoulder arthritis. She has pitched competively since the 6th grade. She pitched with travel ball in 12u and 14u but hasn’t played since. She was the jv pitcher in 7th grade for our school team and became the varsity pitcher in the 8th grade. Last year at the end of school at tryouts she experienced shoulder pain and has hurt ever since. We took her to a doctor and he diagnosed her with loose joints she received physical therapy and seemed to be improving until they increased the weights she was using. We went to see another doctor and they gave her a shoulder injection. I requested an mri and we were told yesterday that it was early onset arthristis. We got a new coach this year and he insists that it is because of bad mechanics. She has gone to the same pitching coach for 5 years. No one else besides the new coach thinks its bad mechanics. Could bad mechanics or over use led to the early onset of artritis. She pitched every vasity game since 8th grade for her team including a few tournaments where they played three games a day. I really think that there needs to be a pitch limit placed on fast pitch pitchers because I believe her shoulder pain has come from overuse.

    Comment by April Cook — April 29, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

  77. My daughter is 13. She plays travel ball rec ball and middle school ball. She has only been taking lessons for 2 years. We go for lessons 1 hour every other week. Her machanics are questionable at times but good for the most part. I know what to look for when she is doing something wrong and can tell her. She only gets one inning a tournament at travel ball which is only played every other week. She does not pitch in rec ball bc the coach there uses his daughter the whiled time. Now at middle school she is the only pitcher but they just started workouts no games. Monday at practice the coach for middle school made her throw the entire practice and she didn’t tell me when she came home so I could ice it. So Tuesday she went to pitching lessons and said it felt like something pulled or popped. The pitching coach massage her arm and checked it. But just told her to rest for a few days and see. She only practices at home when she hasn’t pitched anywhere else and only about 50 pitches then. I didn’t think that she was over using her arm but now I am not sure. She said it is her shoulder that hurts and nothing else. What treatment can I do for her now since it is not immediate, should she still ice it or use heat. Should I be concerned? Could this be over use or bad machanics?

    Comment by Crystal Hopper — May 14, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

  78. It sounds like she just used it that one day more than she usually uses her arm when pitching. There is a difference between muscle fatigue and injury, although they can often feel similar. After she rests for a couple days, have her start pitching again and see how it feels. If it’s better, then start getting her pitches up closer to 75 each practice session. She should ice after every practice and it if hurts, stop. If the hurting continues, then see a doctor.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — May 15, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

  79. Hi my name is Tiffany and I have been pitching since I was 8 years old and am now 23. I no longer use my arm as much as I use to do to the fact that I am a pitching coach now. But Anyway Ever since I started pitching I have been the only pitcher through my youth years and thought my 4 years of high school until my last year in tournament team play (18 years old). I have always made sure I warmed up over hand due to the fact the it was important to me able to throw to make outs at bases. After, taking a year off after graduating I started play slow pitch softball and notice I was getting sharp stabbing pains deep in my shoulder she throwing overhand but not under hand (pitching). I continue to play Co ed softball but the only position I can play is catcher because I can’t make a throw from anywhere else unless it’s under hand which I still have to throw under hand from the catching position . I have not seen a doctor for the simple fact the the only way it hurts is when I throw overhand and when I lift a weight from my hip outward I and others can hear and feel a popping sound. Any thought of what may be causing the pain and/ or popping?

    Comment by Tiffany Reiners — May 25, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

  80. I know what ever the cause is has to be from overuse I’m sure. …

    Comment by Tiffany Reiners — May 25, 2014 @ 8:01 pm

  81. Think you should see a doctor – sounds like you’ve messed up something in your shoulder complex. I have that same issue – it hurts throwing overhand but not underhand. That’s not normal, you know.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — May 27, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

  82. Have been in the same situation as Don Hunter mentioned – stress fracture in the forearm with major pain in wrist at first then spreading to forearm and rest 6 weeks – same thing happened about 3 weeks into the previous season. As my 14 year old daughter pitches 3-4 times week while many others pitch daily it never seemed overuse would be an issue. She does however supinate her wrist either at or after release (not sure) even on FB which has always given her balls a bit of spin. My question is – how do we prevent this wrist/forearm problem from happening again? I feel like we are doomed to repeat this scenario again as soon as we get going in the next season.

    Comment by Dana Williams — June 1, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

  83. Sounds like it’s either a mechanics issue, or else it’s a structural issue with her forearm. She needs to have an expert look at her on high-speed slow motion video to make sure she isn’t doing something harmful at release

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — June 5, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

  84. Hello, may daugther is 14 and has been her teams number one pitcher since the age of 10. She recently has a stress fracture to her ulna due to I am assuming of over use pitching too much. The doctor has recently released her to slowly start back pitching. He did not have a lot of information on a start back to pitching program for fastpitch softball only for baseball. She has curve, rise, drop, back door curve, change and more I was just wondered if you would recommend a starting back to pitching program for her. The distance to start at and amount of pitches in a day etc to get started again. I am just worried about her reinjuring it. She has NO PAIN at all as of now we have been throwing about 30 pitches every other day at 50-70%

    Comment by Janie Hardy — June 9, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  85. Hello my daughter is 14 and has just gotten released from a injury to her ulna on her pitching arm she has a stress fracture to the ulna. Her doctor has released her about 2 wks ago to start back pitching slowly. He did not provide a lot of infomation on a start back pitching program since the ones he has are for baseball pitchers and not fastpitch softball. My daughter has rise drop curve back door curve change and more. I am so worried about a re-injury. I was wondering if you have a starting back pitching recommendation distance, speeds? Right now she is pitching at 50-75% 30 pitches every other day. We have not started on her movement pitches yet. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Comment by Janie Hardy — June 9, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

  86. You should be worried about re-injury. She needs to watch the number of pitches she throws per day – and that includes warmups!! Limit her to 100 pitches a day including warmups. Then contact Julie Jones, head coach at University of Akron for her pitching protocol for injury for pitchers. She had a pitcher in the same situation and rehab’d her back to health.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — June 24, 2014 @ 11:12 am

  87. see my previous answer

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — June 24, 2014 @ 11:13 am

  88. I have been searching for an article like this for years. I’m 17 years old and I have been having arm problems ever since I started high school softball. I just graduated this year and my senior year all I did was pitch. Everyday, 6 days a week. Everyone I have ever talked to, even my pitching coach, always told me that I shouldn’t be having pain since the softball pitching style is “natural”. Towards the end of the season I had so much pain I couldn’t pitch in our last game. I have instability, bursitis, and tendinitis, all in my shoulder. I am getting an MRI in 2 weeks to make sure nothing in my shoulder is torn. This article should be read my every coach and every parent of a pitcher. Just take care of your arm and don’t overdo it. When your body is telling you that you had enough, you should listen to it. Be careful and if you have any pain in your arm that you know isn’t your usual “I’m just sore”, make sure you visit your doctor. It’s better to be safe then sorry.

    Comment by Debra — June 27, 2014 @ 11:32 am

  89. While your information and all these posts seem to validate that fast-pitching may be more harmful than most people think, it seems that Little League doesn’t agree. As you may or may not know, according to the pitching rules for baseball vs. softball, Little League allows fast-pitchers to throw MANY more balls than a baseball pitcher. And this from an organization that purports to keep the safety of the kids as high priority–thus the reason for limited pitch counts in baseball. Is Little League behind the curve on this (ha, no pun intended!) or do they have different data from which you’re working?

    Comment by Randy — July 14, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

  90. I forgot to add this to my post. . . not only does LL allow more pitches for a fast-pitcher but they actually INCREASED the maximum number of innings a girl can throw just this year. They seem to be going to the opposite direction. . .

    Comment by Randy — July 14, 2014 @ 7:20 pm

  91. My question is not about injuries for a younger person. My father is 77 and has been playing some form of Softball since he was 6 years old. He has played at very high levels and was a short-stop for both fast and slow pitch (he played with Ty Stofflet). He is still playing today but has been running into a problem when throwing. He says he has no pain but it is an effort for him to get the ball even fifty feet. It is quite frustrating for him. Do you have any thoughts to what may be causing this or any ideas where I can look to for more information?

    Comment by Vicki Brewer — September 25, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

  92. WOW! First off – GREAT JOB that your Dad is still enjoying softball after all these years of playing! And, that he played with Ty Stofflet is something to definitely brag about! I’m not a doctor so I don’t have a medical opinion about why he’s losing velocity, but my guess is that as he ages and loses muscle mass, it’s impacting his throwing distance and speed. While that’s a bummer, it’s great to hear he’s not in pain while throwing! Kudos Dad!!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — September 29, 2014 @ 10:32 am

  93. Hi Cindy , I used to be a pitcher for my middle school but unfortunately during my freshman year in high school I tore my labrum before the season started. I had surgery and did therapy but I’m still not able to pitch without my shoulder hurting or popping and this is my senior year and would love to get back on the field. What do you suggest I do?

    Comment by Kim Garcia — October 2, 2014 @ 1:15 am

  94. Get with a rehab specialist to make sure you’re returning in a safe and strong manner!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — October 6, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

  95. My daughter is on a 10b fastpitch travel team. So for the first time the girls are participating in kid-pitch games vs. coach pitch. My daughter along with four others are pitchers. The coaches are warming up the 1st pitcher for that game but no-one else. This past weekend, they sent my daughter on the mound with only 4 warm up pitches. I’ve tried telling them this is not safe and not fair to the pitcher. (And my daughter is not the only pitcher this has happened to) Am I overreacting and if not, do you have any suggestions of articles written that supports the importance of warming up a pitcher? Thanks.

    Comment by Deborah — October 13, 2014 @ 8:47 am

  96. Warming up is importa t, particularly the faster you throw. Since your daughter is still 10 the warmup will be far more of a mental help than a physical necessity, but still, an important element. Sounds like the other pitchers need to warm up themselves. They could pitch to themselves off to the side before the game, and when their team is hitting during the game just to make sure they’re ready to go in. Don’t need to put everything on the coach – sometimes the players can do things themselves. Good luck!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — October 14, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

  97. My daughter is 17 and has been pitching dince she was 9. The other day she warmed up pitching before a game and did great and was not used until her 3rd game of the day. She warmed up again before the 3rd game and didn’t do too good and when she went to the mound her first and second warm up pitches went 30 ft over the bavkstop and to the street. She ran off the field in tears and doesn’t understand what the heck is happening . She had little pain behind her arm above the elbow. She can still throw overhand and bat but can’t pitch the ball without it shooting way up in the air. The doctor thinks it may be ovetuse and doesn’t think she tore anything. Have you ever seen this happen? She desperately wants to get back on the mound but cannot pitch

    Comment by Cristina Guerrero — October 15, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

  98. Hi Cindy I have a 14 year old daughter who has been pitching for many years. This past February she started softball practices in the local high school gym to get ready for the little league season. She felt fine for several weeks but suddenly she started getting horrible pain in her right clavicle anytime she would throw a ball overhand. There was no pain at all when she pitched though. We brought her to an orthopedic doctor who referred her to a physical therapist. She did PT for several weeks with no changes to the pain or inflammation in her clavicle. She then had an X-ray, MRI, bone scans and a CT which all came back not showing any injury or trauma to her shoulder or clavicle area. She still played softball for the season but was only able to pitch or play 1st base. If she had to throw a ball she could only throw it underhand. If she did throw it overhand she would be in so much pain that she would need to be taken out of the game. It is now 3 months later and she still has pain and inflammation in her clavicle if she does any type of overhand throwing or movement. She is very frustrated at this point because she loves to play softball but she is very limited to where she can play. Have you heard of anything like this before? Any ideas or suggestions would be great!

    Comment by Beckie — October 19, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

  99. Without actually seeing her and talking to her I can’t say what it is, but if what happens isn’t a result of pain, then it sounds like it’s a focus issue. If she’s fine warming up in the bullpen and the crazy pitches always happen in games, then her focus is switching from her herself & her pitch to outside things (like the crowd, the batter, the umpire, the other team…). Sounds like her finger pressure on the ball just gets weak or soft so she’s losing the pitch either mid-pitch or else holding on too tight and letting go too late and lifting the pitch at release. Hope this helps! If it’s painful – SEE A DOCTOR!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — November 3, 2014 @ 9:18 am

  100. Our daughter is 13 and has been pitching for 3 years. She is a very good pitcher but this past June her back on the left side started hurting. She is a right-handed pitcher. We took her to the doctor and physical therapist and was diagnosed as a si joint issue. She has been doing rehab and core strengthening all summer and fall. She can field and bat again but whenever she tries to pitch at her normal speed it starts hurting again. She is very frustrated and so are we! Just wondering why it is still causing issues after all this time? And how long does it normally takes to come back from a si joint injury for softball pitchers? Or how to best ease her back into pitching from this injury?

    Comment by Ann — November 9, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

  101. Those are questions for an orthopedic specialist. Pitching does take a tole on the body.

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — November 11, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  102. Hi, my daughter is 11 years old and has been practicing for pitching. She has a pitching coach and is with him 3-4 times a week. She took fall season off. But for the last 5 months or so, so has been complaining that her sides are hurting in the rib area. I have taken her to the doctor and he suggests that she may have strained her muscles in her ribs, but its not getting any better. Do you have suggestions of what it can be.

    Comment by Georgette — December 3, 2014 @ 5:14 pm

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