Monday I had a new client come in; she is 12 years old, has an ongoing pain in her R should and plays for a regionally competitive travel softball team. The fact she plays for a travel softball team is a pretty important component, that tells me how many reps she is getting in during the year and how much pressure she plays with. She took off most of the fall from pitching hoping the rest would help her shoulder improve, unfortunately it didn’t. I talk about why rest doesn’t help athletes with repetitive use injuries in my post on Rest earlier this week.
When I had her go through her pitching motion she had pain around her clavicle and down into her arm pit. She wasn’t able to extend her arm when it was over her head and was not able to perform her windmill motion with out pain with out pain on a scale of 1-10 at 7.
My first bench mark was to get her to have little to no pain with arm fully extended over her head. While watching her and listening to her symptoms I thought her serratus along with pec minor were hyper tonic thus limiting her range of motion. During during palpation we found them to be normal and her levator scapula and rhomboids to be hypertonic and painful to the touch. We found her R low trap to be inhbited by her R rhomboids and her R serratus anterior inhibited by her R levator scap.
It took us a little while to get proper release so that we hit my first bench mark of full elbow extension with arm over head, but we got there with pain at a 2. During her next session I hope to be able to tackle the rest of her motion and get it much smoother. She is going to practice this week and report back what she feels while pitching.
Practice Makes Improvement 🙂