Little League Shoulder | Diagnosis & Treatments

Testing and Diagnosis for Little League Shoulder

At your appointment, your child’s doctor will ask about his history with sports and injuries, as well as how often he throws and whether he is on multiple teams.

The doctor will examine his arm to check for pain, swelling and tenderness along the upper arm and shoulder, and check to see if he has normal and full movement of the arm and shoulder.

Then the doctor will take X-rays of both shoulders in order to compare the throwing arm with the other arm. This helps to see differences and show any signs of change in the growth plate and surrounding bones.

How Boston Children's Hospital treats Little League Shoulder

Early treatment for Little League shoulder is important, because if your child ignores the injury and plays through the pain, he may make the injury more serious. In general, the earlier Little League shoulder is treated, the shorter the recovery time will be.

Rest is the most effective treatment for Little League shoulder. Your child should stop throwing completely, and later go to physical therapy. The physical therapist will work with your child to stretch out and strengthen the shoulder, which will help with the pain and help prevent the injury from happening again.

A player can usually return to sports after a proper recovery treatment when he has been fully cleared by his doctor and physical therapist. Getting back in the game too early is dangerous, and could draw out the injury even longer.

Coping and support

If your child is admitted to Boston Children's Hospital or needs more extensive care, your family may want to take advantage of our Hale Family Center for Families, which can help connect you with resources, should you need them: