3 Things Parents Need To Know About Little League Elbow Syndrome


Organized sports are a good way to make sure your child gets the exercise they need to stay healthy, but with sports, come sports injuries. One injury that your child may develop is little league elbow syndrome, also known as medial epicondylitis, and overuse injury. Here are three things you need to know about this injury.

What are the signs of little league elbow syndrome?

If your child experiences little league elbow syndrome, they will complain that their elbow is sore. This pain will be located at the medial condyle of the elbow, which is the bony point of their outer elbow. In addition to pain, the elbow may be swollen and the skin may be red or warmer than normal.

How does this injury occur?

Little league elbow syndrome is an overuse injury, so it develops slowly over time. It is caused by prolonged, repeated stress to the tendons and muscles that control the wrists and hands. This repeated stress can come from playing sports like baseball or softball, which is why it's called "little league elbow syndrome."

However, baseball and softball aren't the only sports that can lead to this injury. Other sports that involve throwing, like football or shotput, can also cause damage. Sports that involve swinging a club or a racket, like golf or tennis, can also be responsible. If your child is active in sports and has a sore elbow, take them to a sports medicine doctor right away.

How is it treated?

The main treatment for this injury is physical therapy. At first, your child will have to do range of motion exercises to keep their elbow from becoming staff. Later in their treatment, they will start doing stretching and strengthening exercises.

While they're undergoing physiotherapy, you may be told to give them anti-inflammatory medications to help control the pain in their elbow and to keep swelling under control. Icing the elbow for 20 minutes at a time can also be helpful.

After between 4 to 8 weeks of rehabilitation, your child may be permitted slowly ease back into sports. Your child may be upset that they have to miss so much of the season, but it's important that they stay away from sports until they've completely recovered. Playing sports while suffering from little league elbow syndrome can lead to more serious problems like fractures, which may require surgery to correct. 

If your child has a sore elbow, they may have little league elbow syndrome and should be seen by a sports medicine doctor like one from St. Luke's Rehabilitation right away.  


1 December 2015

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