What is considered normal soreness for a high school pitcher? My 2012 son is throwing mid to upper 80's and has minor soreness in the back shoulder after a start that lasts for a few days later.
He becomes a bit testy when I ask him about it and he is pitching well and not showing any signs of discomfort on the mound. The soreness the day after pitching is not new but since he has started hitting 88-89, the soreness lingers several days later. I am thinking it may be a sign the decelerator muscles in the back of the shoulder may be a bit weak but I would appreciate any advice.
If it is just soreness, not pain, then I would say that your assessment is correct. The problem a lot of pitchers run into is that they throw a lot and work on the muscles to accelerate the ball, but they do not work on the muscles that decelerate the arm. Your son should be doing band work and light dumbell work to strengthen the back of the shoulder. Really he should be doing them to strengthen the whole shoulder, just don't neglect the back.
My understanding is that one of the biggest dangers with pitching off the mound too much is that it is much more of a strain on the decelerator muscles because you are going downhill. This helps with forward momentum, but makes it harder to decelerate the arm.
I don't think it's unusual to have some soreness for a couple of days. My son is usually sore the next day if he goes over 80-85 pitches. I usually don't have him throw the day after he pitches. The day after that, even if he is sore, I encourage him to get out and throw to start working that soreness out. I would also have him ice his shoulder after pitching outings. There are opinions on both sides of this practice as to whether it actually helps or not, but once my son got to the velocities you are talking about with your son, he has been doing it as a preventive measure.
I'll echo what CADad said. I'm not a doctor, but I think as long as what he is feeling is muscle soreness and not pain, he should be OK. And I would really have him do some exercises for the back of the shoulder in particular.
I would consider a shutdown and Sports Ortho visit. General rule is front shoulder pain is accelerators, back shoulder is decelerators, and biceps is upper arm and/or back shoulder. If they can pinpoint the problem now it's important as pitchers usually can't throw their way out of an injury issue.
I would agree with Sultan and TDad if you said there was pain. Soreness is different and I don't think it's that unusual to last for a couple of days if you are not in complete throwing shape yet. I stand by what I said before. Soreness is OK. Having pain in the shoulder or arm is not good, get it checked out.
Thank you all for your feedback. It is soreness and not pain. He has been pitching the late games on school nights and has not been running after the games and has not had many workouts since the season has started. He has started doing band work and core work this week.
His team's tournaments end this weekend so hopefully he can get back into a regular routine, including long toss.
LadsDad, keep us posted on how it goes. I would really say that the second day after he pitches, he should get out and throw. Even if he is still sore. This will really help work out some of the kinks and the soreness he is feeling. Wish the best for your son.
Alot of great advice all around. I suffered from the same soreness as a pitcher in the independent ranks. First I had some scapula problems and then some back shoulder problems which eventually led me to a career ending completely torn labrum and other shoulder problems. Not that this is the case for your son but always take a step back and consult a trainer/sports ortho. It's almost like an insurance policy. Rather than be tough and throw through the pain, the fact that you are concerned shows exactly why you should consult a professional. It's great to be a bulldog out there but you also have to be smart to. I wish you the best of luck with this and keep us posted.