It my understanding that LLS is more of an overuse injury than one caused by poor mechanics. Is that correct?
I was able to get video from his last pitching session before seeing the doctor. It appears to be better than what he was doing 1.5 years ago, but may still be slightly rushed. Is there anything here that specifically relates to his injury?
Overuse is the #1 risk factor for youth pitching injuries. Poor mechanics is #2. Some good information about preventing youth pitching injuries can be found on www.pitchsmart.org.
I cannot assess mechanics from 6-second cellphone video. Sorry. Three-dimensional high-speed motion capture system can objectively determine what a pitcher is doing right and wrong.
Ben had a follow-up with Dr. Kremchek yesterday. No x-rays. Just a very brief exam with poking and prodding and rage of motion type stuff. He had not thrown a ball overhand since the first week of February.
He began a 10 step /4 week interval throwing program that takes him from throwing 45 feet at step 1 to 120 feet long toss at step 6 before beginning flat ground pitching at step 7 and then short bullpens for steps 8, 9, & 10. This program seems less gradual than some other programs I have seen on-line. Perhaps that is because little league shoulder is less severe than other injuries and there was no surgery. Does that make sense? I also think that this program was designed for older players since on step 7 it says 15-20 throws at 60 feet using pitching mechanics. I need to call back and see if he should scale back the program at all.
He completed step 1 with no pain, so that is a good start. 25 throws @ 45 feet, rest and then 20 throws @ 60 feet.
Ben has completed his 4 week/10 step return to throwing program. He has been completely pain free throughout the process. We took 5 weeks to complete the program by repeating each of the first 3 steps just so he could ease into it. The last step of the program had him throwing 45 pitches from a mound with a mix of fastballs and offspeed pitches. He has been playing right field and a little second and first base for the last couple weeks and getting practice reps at all positions. He wants to pitch in games ASAP, but I am not sure how wise that is.
I am glad to hear that the rehab is going well. Have you taken any steps to work on his pitching mechanics?
We are working on his mechanics, although he has only had 3 bullpens as part of his throwing program to work on it. He has changed his hand break to limit lifting the ball with his elbow and go to a more circular motion to produce better timing. He needs to get his hips more involved. I am sure there is still room for improvement.