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Growing adolescents and children that play throwing sports can be susceptible to Little League shoulder, an inflammation of the growth plate at the top end of the upper arm bone. Repetitive stress on the humerus, or upper arm bone, can lead to shoulder pain and limited function. Our sports injury specialists at DOCS Health offer Little League shoulder treatment at our orthopedic clinic in Los Angeles.

Causes and Symptoms of Little League Shoulder

Little League shoulder is actually called proximal humeral epiphyseolysis and affects children during their growing years. The end of the humerus that connects to the shoulder blade in the shoulder joint has a growth plate made of cartilage. Stress on the growth plate from overhead rotation of the joint can cause irritation and inflammation. Since this is common in pitchers and players in Little League, the condition was named after the sport. The growth plate eventually hardens to bone, but not until the late teens.

Little League shoulder most commonly occurs in young athletes between the ages of 10-16 that play baseball, volleyball, tennis or other overhead sports. The symptoms can begin slowly, usually with pain or swelling in the shoulder when the athlete begins increasing their repetitions or throws. The shoulder can be sore for many days or longer.

Treatment for Little League shoulder is usually conservative. Rest is crucial to allow the growth plate to heal. Physical therapy can be used to strengthen the arm and shoulder, with a gradual return to throwing or overhead motions. Anti-inflammatory medications can be used during treatment to reduce pain and inflammation.

If you have a child who is experiencing shoulder pain due to participation in sports, contact our team at DOCS Health. We can provide diagnosis and Little League shoulder treatment at our medical center in Los Angeles.