Baseball Pitcher sidelined by Mysteri...

Baseball Pitcher sidelined by Mysterious chronic lower back pain

Posted in the Back Pain Forum

First Prev
of 2
Next Last
lankylefty

Baltimore, MD

#1 Mar 7, 2009
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to look over this post.
I'm a 17 year old high school lefty pitcher. I'm taking baseball pretty seriously and trained very hard this offseason, as I'm looking to play collegiately. Made All-Conference for Varsity last year as a sophomore so this year is the one big year to stand out and impress colleges.
Anyway, 9 weeks ago I felt amazing. I had gained 5 mph on my fastball and was set to be the top pitcher in the league. Then, trying to make a slight change to my mechanics, I began to notice a little twinge in my lower back on the right side (I'm a lefty) after every pitch. I paid little attention to it - i was still throwing hard and my arm felt great...it wasn't my arm so there wasn't anything to worry about, right?
The change I made involved turning my back a little more to home plate as i lifted my leg, and a more violent snapping open of the hips into footplant. I had no pain prior to this change, and it hurt only after performing this motion for the first time. 5 days later, I had thrown 4 more times. After the bullpen it felt so tight that i had trouble walking the next day (and week).
I iced for the first 3 days, and my trainer gave me heat for that first week. Moderate relief.
Then i saw the doctor who took an X-Ray which came back negative. He said everything was ok and that it was a simple muscle spasm. He gave me a muscle relaxant, told me to stretch and do heat + e-stim and that I would be fine in a week.
Fastforward 4 weeks or so. E-stim + heat every day with my trainer,+ started very light core strengthening program for 2 of those weeks. No noticeable improvements after this time. He gave me stretches to do. Flexing forward is pain-free, but ARCHING (especially while also twisting to the right) my back produces pain. It's kind of a tight aching pain and only occurs when I twist funny or arch my back.
So far rest has not diminished my symptoms. Some stretches (like the McKenzie arching exercises) made it worse, but nothing has really helped the problem too much.
Anyway to sum up:
Chronic low right back pain: 8 -9 weeks and counting
Hurts to go into extension
Pain is off to the side, there is no tenderness to touch
[IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/35 7q7u0.jpg[/IMG]
furthermore, I recently had a bone scan and the doctor's assistant said that she couldn't see anything from it. I will find out for sure what the bone scan showed in a few days, but I'm assuming that the bone scan came back negative.
Right now I'm researching and Prolotherapy looks like my best bet as it's simple and used to treat a ton of different conditions.
Please, please I need help. Baseball is my dream and I don't want this nightmare to continue.
Bob Prichard

San Rafael, CA

#2 Mar 9, 2009
Since you know that your back problem started with a change in mechanics, it seems to make more sense to try to solve the problem by working on your mechanics, instead of getting treatment for your back.

I recommend you find someone who can videotape and analyze your pitching motion to see what is causing the problem, otherwise you will just keep aggravating your back.

Somax Sports in Tiburon, CA does this kind of work and they have a good reputation.
lankylefty

Baltimore, MD

#3 Mar 23, 2009
Bob Prichard wrote:
Since you know that your back problem started with a change in mechanics, it seems to make more sense to try to solve the problem by working on your mechanics, instead of getting treatment for your back.
I recommend you find someone who can videotape and analyze your pitching motion to see what is causing the problem, otherwise you will just keep aggravating your back.
Somax Sports in Tiburon, CA does this kind of work and they have a good reputation.
The thing is, I know exactly which change I made that caused the pain. But now that it's injured, it still hurts to throw the way I used to. So I need to figure out how to get my back to heal, then go back to the way I used to throw which is easy enough.
diagnosed

Baltimore, MD

#4 Apr 5, 2009
I was diagnosed last week by the Physical Therapist. About time.

Facet Joint Sprain L2-L3 /L3-L4 also known as Facet Joint Syndrome.

http://www.cure-back-pain.org/facet-syndro me-treatment.html

http://www.isischiropractic.co.uk/chiropra ctic_back_pain_facet_joint_syn drome_lumbar .html

Why do facet injuries occur?

Essentially, the spine is a long chain of joints which are protected by ligaments and muscles and if some of the links stiffen up through injuries or anatomical changes it makes other links move more to compensate and eventually the overuse of the flexible joints cause pain through sprain. Most injuries are caused by what is called recurrent micro-trauma, it means many small repetitive injuries, until the proverbial 'last straw'. That is why people often hurt themselves doing very trivial things such as bending to pick up a pen, and they hurt themselves before they even get to lift the pen. This can happen through fairly trivial activities. It does not have to involve heavy lifting, it is more often caused by awkward movements. Maybe things that you have done a hundred times before.

There is another mechanism of injury that can cause facet joint pain called meniscoid entrapment. Research has shown that there is sometimes a fold present in the join capsule that project inwards between the joint surfaces. This fold in the lower back-joints can get trapped. In those cases chiropractic teatment can sometimes have a seemingly miraculous effect with almost instant pain relief after one session of chiropractic spinal manipulation.

My options are:

Physical Therapy (currently doing)

Acupuncture
Chiropractory (potential "miraculous" effect if it's the meniscoid entrapment above)
Facet Joint Blocks (an injection normally given to confirm a facet joint syndrome diagnosis. It numbs the nerve endings of the facet joint and so if that's where the pain originates there should be an immediate feeling of relief. I havent gotten this injection yet, but will likely get it if standard PT exercises and techniques are ineffective)

and Facet Rhizotomy: a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which the nerve roots/endings are not simply numbed as in the Facet Joint Block, but actually destroyed. This type of treatment is supposed to prevent pain from 6 months -2 years on average.

I've been doing PT for a little over one week so far. He's had me:
Doing two stretches (Mecca stretch, and a hip-crossover type stretch lying on back) 5 times/day
See him 3x/week where he: Heats for 20 min, ultrasound for 5 min, then some kind of massage for 5 min, then he kind of presses all over on my spine with his hands for 5-10 min

This seems to have made a little progress with the ROM - after the PT sessions when he has me do McKenzie press-ups I can go a little bit further without as much pain, but when I do them at home (not directly after a massage/ultrasound) I havent made much progress there.

And it still hurts the same amount to twist/actively arch my back (like in a superman exercise on my stomach).

He only tests me directly after these massage/therapy sessions so he thinks I'm "90% of the way there" and he has told my coach this apparently. I'm scheduled to start throwing again from the mound tomorrow at 50%. I'm certain I can "cheat" and just use my arm, but that if I try to throw with good mechanics the hip rotation is going to give me the pain again.

Any thoughts?
Concerned Mom

Hickory, NC

#5 May 8, 2010
It says this was posted in 2009. Could you please tell me whatever ended up happening with you? Did you find a "cure?" My son is a lefthanded pitcher with the same problems that you were having. He is 14 yrs old and he only hurts when he pitches---at the extension. Is there any help for this? What, if anything helped you---doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, message therapists? I could tell by your post how desperate you were, so I know you know how this feels. Please let me know.
Gary

Evansdale, IA

#6 Jul 1, 2010
My son at 17 has a similar problem. Might get a CT as the original x-ray showed nothing. After all missed diagnosis determined it was a pars stress fracture!!

is
lankylefty wrote:
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to look over this post.
I'm a 17 year old high school lefty pitcher. I'm taking baseball pretty seriously and trained very hard this offseason, as I'm looking to play collegiately. Made All-Conference for Varsity last year as a sophomore so this year is the one big year to stand out and impress colleges.
Anyway, 9 weeks ago I felt amazing. I had gained 5 mph on my fastball and was set to be the top pitcher in the league. Then, trying to make a slight change to my mechanics, I began to notice a little twinge in my lower back on the right side (I'm a lefty) after every pitch. I paid little attention to it - i was still throwing hard and my arm felt great...it wasn't my arm so there wasn't anything to worry about, right?
The change I made involved turning my back a little more to home plate as i lifted my leg, and a more violent snapping open of the hips into footplant. I had no pain prior to this change, and it hurt only after performing this motion for the first time. 5 days later, I had thrown 4 more times. After the bullpen it felt so tight that i had trouble walking the next day (and week).
I iced for the first 3 days, and my trainer gave me heat for that first week. Moderate relief.
Then i saw the doctor who took an X-Ray which came back negative. He said everything was ok and that it was a simple muscle spasm. He gave me a muscle relaxant, told me to stretch and do heat + e-stim and that I would be fine in a week.
Fastforward 4 weeks or so. E-stim + heat every day with my trainer,+ started very light core strengthening program for 2 of those weeks. No noticeable improvements after this time. He gave me stretches to do. Flexing forward is pain-free, but ARCHING (especially while also twisting to the right) my back produces pain. It's kind of a tight aching pain and only occurs when I twist funny or arch my back.
So far rest has not diminished my symptoms. Some stretches (like the McKenzie arching exercises) made it worse, but nothing has really helped the problem too much.
Anyway to sum up:
Chronic low right back pain: 8 -9 weeks and counting
Hurts to go into extension
Pain is off to the side, there is no tenderness to touch
[IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/35 7q7u0.jpg[/IMG]
furthermore, I recently had a bone scan and the doctor's assistant said that she couldn't see anything from it. I will find out for sure what the bone scan showed in a few days, but I'm assuming that the bone scan came back negative.
Right now I'm researching and Prolotherapy looks like my best bet as it's simple and used to treat a ton of different conditions.
Please, please I need help. Baseball is my dream and I don't want this nightmare to continue.
Annette

Syracuse, UT

#8 Dec 21, 2010
Gary wrote:
My son at 17 has a similar problem. Might get a CT as the original x-ray showed nothing. After all missed diagnosis determined it was a pars stress fracture!!
is<quoted text>
I was wondering how your son faired out. What was the treatment?
My son pitched at a weekend clinic for a college about 2 weeks ago and (re)injured his lower back. We want to get him healthy before the season starts in 2011.
He lost over half his sophomore year due to the pain during pitching. We really never isolated the problem. He just took time off and did streching recommended by PT guy.
concerned mom

Hampstead, NC

#9 Feb 14, 2011
We eneded going to an orthopaedic doctor who specialized in sports related back injuries. This seemed like a waste of time. He essentially did nothing. My son did do some physical therapy and the therapist did say the injury was related to the facet joints. He seemed to get better, but spring ball is just beginning and Im a little concerned after what I read about the re-injured player. Any suggestions?
Annette

Syracuse, NY

#10 Feb 14, 2011
Well, about 3 weeks ago it happened again. We are at the orthopaedic doctor now also. He did not see anything from exrays, so we are going in for MRI this Saturday. Then it may take up to a month for us to get back in to the doctor to go over results. He said something similiar to us about the facet joint. He said if it is that, the treatment is nerve blocks (shots) to the nerves running through that area, on a trial and error basis. Sometime you may go in and it will work, the next time it may not. This is about the 5th time it has happened. I am to the point that as much as he loves it, and the team is very short on good pitchers, he may have to give it up.
luke

Shawnee, KS

#11 Jun 17, 2011
I've been going to PT for over a month now im 14, and i have the same problem i have been doing lots of stretches and strengthening activities witch helped at first but today i was pitching and my lower back pretty much gave out in a game and i couldn't stand back up today is the worst its ever been. I couldn't walk at first but then i was able to and worked it into a slight jog in 30 min. I thought i was all healed but now i just don't know what to do and if im done for the rest of the season..
lefty2

Beacon, NY

#12 Jun 25, 2011
lankylefty wrote:
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to look over this post.
I'm a 17 year old high school lefty pitcher. I'm taking baseball pretty seriously and trained very hard this offseason, as I'm looking to play collegiately. Made All-Conference for Varsity last year as a sophomore so this year is the one big year to stand out and impress colleges.
Anyway, 9 weeks ago I felt amazing. I had gained 5 mph on my fastball and was set to be the top pitcher in the league. Then, trying to make a slight change to my mechanics, I began to notice a little twinge in my lower back on the right side (I'm a lefty) after every pitch. I paid little attention to it - i was still throwing hard and my arm felt great...it wasn't my arm so there wasn't anything to worry about, right?
The change I made involved turning my back a little more to home plate as i lifted my leg, and a more violent snapping open of the hips into footplant. I had no pain prior to this change, and it hurt only after performing this motion for the first time. 5 days later, I had thrown 4 more times. After the bullpen it felt so tight that i had trouble walking the next day (and week).
I iced for the first 3 days, and my trainer gave me heat for that first week. Moderate relief.
Then i saw the doctor who took an X-Ray which came back negative. He said everything was ok and that it was a simple muscle spasm. He gave me a muscle relaxant, told me to stretch and do heat + e-stim and that I would be fine in a week.
Fastforward 4 weeks or so. E-stim + heat every day with my trainer,+ started very light core strengthening program for 2 of those weeks. No noticeable improvements after this time. He gave me stretches to do. Flexing forward is pain-free, but ARCHING (especially while also twisting to the right) my back produces pain. It's kind of a tight aching pain and only occurs when I twist funny or arch my back.
So far rest has not diminished my symptoms. Some stretches (like the McKenzie arching exercises) made it worse, but nothing has really helped the problem too much.
Anyway to sum up:
Chronic low right back pain: 8 -9 weeks and counting
Hurts to go into extension
Pain is off to the side, there is no tenderness to touch
[IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/35 7q7u0.jpg[/IMG]
furthermore, I recently had a bone scan and the doctor's assistant said that she couldn't see anything from it. I will find out for sure what the bone scan showed in a few days, but I'm assuming that the bone scan came back negative.
Right now I'm researching and Prolotherapy looks like my best bet as it's simple and used to treat a ton of different conditions.
Please, please I need help. Baseball is my dream and I don't want this nightmare to continue.
Im a lefty two in high school and im going through the same exact thing as you...tell me if anything has helped you at all please...i wanna get back to playing the game at 100 percent
Niki C

Metairie, LA

#13 Jul 7, 2011
Reading all of your posts has my heart sinking. My son, Cole, has been playing travel baseball with USSSA since he was 7 years old. I knew at 3 yrs old he had a gift when it came to throwing a ball and hitting his target. He is now almost 11 yrs old and a very good right hand pitcher. Last summer he played rec ball too. He had just made all stars when he felt, as he called it, a pull in his lower left back. He had to go on rest for 1 week with zero activity. His pain went away completely until about 2 months ago. He started feeling a similar pain, but this time on the right side. As of 1 week ago the pain has gradually increased. Last night he had to pitch his 1st all star game, and all of a sudden I could see the change in his facial expressions and ability to pitch. I had to actually dress and undress him due to the amount of pain. This childs dream and passion is baseball. PLEASE HELPPPPP!!!!!!!
Randi

Eastpointe, MI

#14 Sep 23, 2011
I play softball and i pitch. I've been pitching for 6 yrs now. i also get the same problem but on my lower left side of my back. Its from landing and having all the power going forward then suddenly stop. iIt has nothign to do with the bone. Its the muscles in your loswet back that is strained. You would be better going to a massage therapist. I used to go to a chiropractor but that did nothing. hope that helps
audra

Clever, MO

#15 Oct 24, 2011
Contact Doug Nelson in Champaign, Illinois. I am confident he can help you. He has worked with professional athletes and musicians with great success. He and his team are the best in their field.
Dave

San Jose, CA

#16 Nov 25, 2011
Have you let a doctor checked your condition? By the way, have you read http://www.fosamaxfemurfracturelawsuit.com/fo... ?
Tom

Korea

#17 Dec 3, 2011
This is an old post, but I figure that I'll give a personal experience relating to it. I was a left handed pitcher who started playing little league at the age of 4 1/2. I pitched at pretty much the first opportunity that I was given, and kept with it all the way through high school. When I was about 15 years old, I was pitching in a game and throwing one of the best games of my life. It was a championship game for district in little league all stars (we played all stars once high school season was over). At that time, I was throwing around 85 MPH, on average. After pitching a couple of innings I started to feel a small pinch in my lower back. During the next inning, I threw a fastball and all of a sudden my front right leg (the leg that I stride with) collapsed and I had a hard time standing back up. I continued to pitch through the pain for a couple of more innings until I just couldn't take it anymore. Finally, I was taken out of the game (which we ended up winning) and the next day I could barely walk. It took about three days before I could walk fairly normally again. I tried pitching a couple of days later and again, my right leg collapsed and I had severe lower back pain. After this game I took about three months off from baseball, which seemed to help - or so I thought. Started up the next season (I was 16 at this point) and again, same problem. After my Junior year I had to stop playing baseball due to my back problems as well as rotator cuff issues and chronic tendonitis in my elbow. Now, fast forward eight years and I still have the same back problems. I'm currently 24 years old and have been in the Marine Corps for 5 years now and it has never gotten back to 100%. It has gotten better, though. All I can say is stay with the physical therapy as much as possible and try and strengthen your back as much as possible. I've actually noticed that running regularly seems to help stretch my back out a bit. Good luck to anyone having this same problem! Hang in there, and hopefully you will have a better experience with it than I did.
Brenan

San Jose, CA

#18 Dec 8, 2011
Probably what you are experiencing are just inflammation from your joint muscles however it is best that you consult a doctor about your condition so that it can be given quick solution. http://www.depuypinnaclelawsuit.com/
Romell

New York, NY

#19 Dec 20, 2011
The most distressing thing about back pain treatment is that there is no ""magic bullet,"" according to a medical specialist. Most patients recover completely by simply avoiding strain to their spine. They usually find comfort from ice, heat, and medications. If these basic treatments for back pain do not relieve your symptoms, the next best step is to have a medical evaluation. Depending on the symptoms and the length of the problem, your doctor can properly organize a treatment schedule. On a similar note, there are several cases wherein patients experience so much pain after a hip replacement surgery. One reason is a defective hip device. In 2010, Johnson&Johnson issued a worldwide recall of two hip replacement devices (manufactured by its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics) because of hip replacement problems. These devices are the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System. The company cited early failure of the devices, resulting in approximately one out of eight patients’ requiring a “revision surgery."" This surgery is often more difficult and painful than the original hip replacement procedure. The website http://www.depuyhipreplacementlawsuit.com provides a wide-ranging information on this.
Lefty hitter

Wheaton, IL

#20 Feb 2, 2012
My son is 16 and has been hurt for over 1.5 years. He was diagnosed with spondylosysis, that's the stress fracture in the L5 pars interarticularis that one of the posts mentioned. He did this swinging the bat. 3 MRI's, 3 CT's, 4 x-rays and a nuclear bone scan later he is in extreme pain that is absolutely triggered by his lefty swing. Top docs have said that the stress fracture is all but healed and they see nothing structurally wrong.. but the pain continues. He has done PT for flexibility and core strength, chiropractic manipulation, accupuncture, two epidurals aimed a the facet joint and even a nerve ablation. One facet epidural gave him relief for about three weeks. The other nerve interventions did nothing. Docs have thrown up their hands and have said to wait it out. Not exactly what a junior in high school with dreams of college wants to hear. I need help. I'll see a witch doctor if I have to.
Gary

Martelle, IA

#21 Feb 3, 2012
Annette wrote:
<quoted text>
I was wondering how your son faired out. What was the treatment?
My son pitched at a weekend clinic for a college about 2 weeks ago and (re)injured his lower back. We want to get him healthy before the season starts in 2011.
He lost over half his sophomore year due to the pain during pitching. We really never isolated the problem. He just took time off and did streching recommended by PT guy.
Better late responding than never-- The bad news: My son had an L-3 stress fracture,quite unusual, missed his entire senior season and part of his freshman year at college.The great news he is totally healed with the help of a body brace and a bone stimulator which he used for three months. I think the bone simulator was the key. Having been mis-diagnosed for 4 months, we were not to optimistic the bones would knit together. Will be in the starting rotation this year.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Back Pain Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
spinal cord stimulator removal (Apr '11) Jul 18 lwynn 259
Tight back muscles Jul 15 Jackie 4
spinal fusion complications (Jan '07) Jul 11 Hospicern 713
I Don't Know What To Do Jul 10 ConcernedAri 1
loose screws after spinal fusion (Jul '10) Jul 9 Danny 167
spinal fusion after effects (Mar '08) Jul 4 Crissy 344
Stem cell paste injection for nerve, disc, & j... Jul 1 Peg 1
More from around the web