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Ask The Expert: Little League Baseball injuries

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A recent report said some of the common injuries in baseball might be the result of how kids learn to pitch early on in their careers.

Hard to imagine that an elbow injury pitching in the big leagues might start in Little League.

Dr. Brian Crellin, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, said, "It can start out as early as when they start to pitch and throw, five six and seven years old."

Doctor Crellin said this time of year a real pain in the elbow could be a common office complaint, "The elbow hurts mainly from an overuse injury a lot of times and that can lead to an acute type of injury."

The term used to describe the injury was "little league elbow."  But Dr. Crellin said that was what he called a 'waste basket term' for a number of problems that can cause some of the pain and swelling at a younger age.  He said it was his job to separate what could be wrong and more importantly, the job of a parent or a coach to hopefully reduce that from happening.

"What would I would tell the parents and the coaches really is to rotate the kids through all of the positions," Dr. Crellin said.  "There's tons of statistics that state that pitchers at a young age do not become pitchers at the majors."

To change those odds he suggested, "Really the big thing is, appropriate mechanics.  They need to learn this from a younger age."

He said if parents want to keep a player pitching from a young age, remember, "There are guidelines and one of the guidelines is stay away from the radar gun.  Everybody is so worried about velocity but a seven year old shouldn't necessarily be worried about the radar gun."

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