Why Softball Players Have Elbow Pain

Table of Contents

Softball players frequently have elbow soreness. Bad throwing mechanics, a weak shoulder, a poor throwing progression, or other issues are frequently to blame for this. The elbow can experience significant pressure during the throwing motion, which can hurt and be uncomfortable. While athletic accidents can result in acute injuries, repetitive arm motions can lead to overuse disorders. Whatever the reason, an elbow injury makes doing daily tasks uncomfortable and challenging.


What Are The Things That Contribute To Pain When Throwing Softball?

Elbow Too High Before Throwing

Poor throwing speed results from the elbow gradually dropping to a low position when it is elevated over the shoulder line.

Fastpitch players who also pitch frequently experience this because the windmill pitching motion combines with the throwing motion. Shoulder impingement, or the shoulder muscles getting pinched between your bones, can occur if you are too much above the shoulder line.


Poor Shoulder-Hip Separation

Comprehension how the body functions as a whole requires understanding of shoulder-hip separation.

Basically, young children throw by moving their hips along with their upper bodies. Everybody who throws hard does this. But many people who throw poorly lack it. A player must generate more of their power with their arm when they don’t have excellent separation since they don’t obtain as much power from their hips, core, and legs.


Poor Elbow Angle

According to studies on baseball pitchers, the elbow angle should be +/- 90 degrees. With one exception, high-level (college and professional) position players’ observable angles are often (but not always) less than 90 degrees, therefore adhering to this rule of thumb is a good idea.

According to research, stress is generally increased by angles that are larger than 90 degrees and much lower than 90 degrees. However, watching top-level baseball and softball players reveals that the majority of catchers and infielders pitch with elbow angles between 60 and 80 degrees.


What Are Some Common Injuries That Can Happen When You Have Elbow Pain When Throwing A Softball?

When you play softball, your elbow and shoulder can sustain a variety of typical ailments.


Medial Apophysitis

Little Leaguer’s elbow, also known as medial apophysitis, is a relatively typical issue among kids who play baseball or softball for extended periods of time. Throwing repeatedly causes an overly severe pull on the tendons and ligaments of the elbow, which leads to this ailment. Children frequently utilize inappropriate skills when they first start playing a sport. The growth plate in the arm may become irritated and inflamed as a result of this tension. In extreme circumstances, the growth plate might even separate from the arm.


The following are other injuries that happen to adults frequently:


Flexor Tendinitis

Throwing repeatedly can aggravate and swell the flexor/pronator tendons where they connect to the humerus bone. An athlete may have pain on the inside of their elbow while throwing if the condition worsens enough.


Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury

The most often injured ligament in throwers is the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). The UCL is susceptible to a variety of injuries, from slight bruising and inflammation to a total tear of the ligament. Athletes often experience decreased throwing velocity as well as soreness on the inside of the elbow.


Valgus Extension Overload 

The olecranon and humerus bones are bent and pressed against one another during the throwing motion. This can eventually cause valgus extension overload (VEO), a disease in which the olecranon’s protecting cartilage wears away and aberrant bone growths known as osteophytes or bone spurs appear. At the point where the bones at the back of the elbow make the most contact with one another, athletes with VEO experience swelling and pain.


Olecranon Stress Fracture

Muscle tiredness renders muscles incapable of absorbing additional shock, which leads to stress fractures. At some point, the overworked muscle transmits the excess stress to the bone, resulting in a microscopic crack known as a stress fracture.

The most typical site for stress fractures in throwers is the olecranon. On the inside of the elbow, near the olecranon, athletes will experience painful pain. The discomfort is worse when throwing or engaging in other hard activities, but it can also happen while you’re resting.


Ulnar Neuritis

The ulnar nerve wraps around the bony outgrowth at the inner end of the humerus when the elbow is bent. It can sometimes fall out of place in throwers, resulting in pain and breaking. This straining or snapping causes ulnar neuritis, an inflammation of the nerve.


What Are The Symptoms Of Having An Elbow Injury?

Anyone who throws a lot, particularly ball athletes and throwers, is susceptible to elbow injuries. First, it may hurt them while throwing or afterward, making it difficult to continue practicing.

Patients with an elbow problem or injury may exhibit symptoms like:

  • A bone that is obviously crooked or misaligned
  • Varying degrees of discomfort
  • Confined movement
  • Bruising, swelling, and tenderness
  • Numbness and tingling that could travel down the arm


How do you treat the elbow pain?

With a few exceptions, rest is the primary form of treatment for this illness. If it is severe, there are additional therapies like prescription medication that are available. It is time to see your doctor if you are exhibiting these symptoms, they are limiting your daily activities, or they have been bothering you for longer than six weeks.



Throwers’ elbow injuries are typically caused by overuse and repetitive high pressures. When the athlete quits throwing, the soreness often goes away. Many of these injuries seldom affect people who do not throw objects.

A throwing athlete has a better chance of staying healthy if they follow the appropriate procedures to prepare their body and improve their technique. Such elbow injuries can be avoided with the correct conditioning and recuperation time.

Clark Harris

Clark Harris

"I live and breath Softball"

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