Introduction: Should Kids Ice Arm After Pitching?
Each year, millions of kids take to the pitcher’s mound and participate in baseball or softball. From Little League to high school, the pitcher is an integral part of the game. As with any sport, the health and safety of the participants should be of the utmost concern. For pitchers, this means providing the proper care for their arms after pitching. One important aspect of arm care is icing, but should kids ice arm after pitching?
The answer is yes. Icing an arm after pitching is a great way for pitchers to reduce swelling, increase recovery time, and reduce the risk of injury. By understanding the importance of icing, understanding the proper technique, and knowing when to do it, kids can be sure to keep their arms in top shape.
What Is Icing?
Icing is a simple technique of using cold temperatures to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Ice is applied directly to the skin in the form of an ice pack or a bag of ice. The ice is typically left on for 15-20 minutes, but it is important not to overdo it as this can cause frostbite and other harm.
The Benefits of Icing After Pitching
There are several benefits to icing an arm after pitching. First, it can reduce swelling, which can help to reduce pain and improve range of motion. Second, it can help to reduce the risk of injury by decreasing muscle fatigue and tightness. Third, it can help to increase recovery time by decreasing inflammation and promoting healing. Finally, it can help to increase performance by reducing soreness and fatigue.
When Should Kids Ice Arm After Pitching?
The most important time to ice an arm after pitching is as soon as possible. An ice pack should be applied immediately after pitching and kept on for 15-20 minutes. This should be done for every practice and game, as well as any time the arm is used for throwing or pitching.
The Proper Technique for Icing
When icing an arm after pitching, it is important to use the proper technique. First, an ice pack should be applied to the affected area (typically the shoulder or elbow). The ice pack should be placed on the skin, not on top of any clothing. Second, the ice pack should be left on for 15-20 minutes. Third, it is important to not overdo it. The skin should never be allowed to become numb during the icing process.
Other Tips for Arm Care
In addition to icing, there are several other tips that can help to keep an arm healthy and reduce the risk of injury. These tips include:
- Stretch before and after pitching
- Stretch the arm, shoulder, and chest muscles regularly
- Stretch slowly and gently
- Stretch to the point of discomfort, not pain
- Rest between pitching sessions
- Rest the arm for at least one day per week
- Rest from throwing if pain or swelling occurs
- Strength train the arm, shoulder, and chest muscles
- Strength train regularly
- Strength train with light weights and high repetitions
Conclusion: Should Kids Ice Arm After Pitching?
The answer is a resounding yes. Icing an arm after pitching is an important part of arm care and can help to reduce swelling, increase recovery time, and reduce the risk of injury. In addition to icing, kids should also stretch, rest, and strength train in order to keep their arms healthy. By following these simple steps, kids can be sure to keep their arms in top shape and enjoy the game of baseball or softball for years to come.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2020). Baseball & Softball: Shoulder & Elbow Injuries. Retrieved from orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/baseball-and-softball-shoulder-and-elbow-injuries/
- Rettig, K. (2018). The Complete Guide to Injury Prevention for Pitchers. Retrieved from stack.com/a/pitcher-injury-prevention
- WebMD. (2020). Icing Injuries. Retrieved from webmd.com/first-aid/icing-injuries#2