TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They may be in little league, but if you aren't careful your child could end up with a major injury. New studies show throwing arm injuries are on the rise - especially for pitchers and catchers. It could cost your little leaguer anything from missed games to a missed future in baseball.
For most of his life, Zach Cannon has been behind home plate. A senior, Cannon is fortunate. He was has no major injuries or surgeries. It is a statistic doctors say is becoming a minority.
A recent orthopedic study says 25% of young players experience elbow pain and 15% suffer from bone lesions.
"We think the most likely reason is overuse, though, with the kids, particularly pitchers and catchers, because they throw so much," explained Dr. Allison Tobola, with Trinity Clinic Sports Medicine.
It is only part of a bigger problem doctors say.
"I think the year-round playing one sport only is really what's probably more than anything causing some problems and the reasons we're starting to see more and more injuries now than we did 10, 20, 30 years ago," said Tobola. "I would recommend stretching daily. I think that daily stretching may have benefits in the long run."
Which is why the senior catcher takes his time warming up.
"I stretch before," said Cannon. "Every time I throw I'll stretch out my shoulder and my elbow. Tendon pull helps stretch out the forearm and elbow. You do it both ways to the full effect.
Shoulders are next.
"Keep it loose and limbered up," he said.
Followed by triceps. They are all quick steps keeping Cannon healthy and hopeful for a college career.
"Educate your kids," said Tobola. "It's more important to worry about the long term than just the immediate here and now winning this one game. Young kids 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14-year-olds can all sustain injury that could plague them for the rest of their career and even prevent them from being able to reach a higher level of play."
Doctors say parents of younger parents must be watchful during games and practice. Loss of control or decreased speed could be a sign of injury children may not be quick to admit.
To find out more about preventative measures and keeping your player healthy, click here.
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