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Should I ice my arm after I pitch?

Monday, June 21, 2010 by Carter Franklin

I am 12 years old and pitch on my little league team. I am getting conflicting information on whether or not I need to ice my arm after I pitch. What is your opinion on this? Frozen Ropes Rocks!


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June 21, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Tony Abbatine says:

Ice for 12 year old healthy arms should be discouraged unless they are coming off surgery or rehab. The best thing to do the next day after pitching is to sweat and stretch and have a light catch. Over soreness in the arm after a pitched game means your pitching delivery is not distributed the stress of throwing to the legs and back muscles. Check for proper stride length and shoulder turn to ensure a healthy delivery. Save the ice for the post- game parties…
August 27, 2010 at 8:53 AM

betty says:

So your professional advice is not to ice a shoulder after throwing. Then why do professional players, i.e. Jennie Finch and Monica Abbott ice their shoulders? I think your off base here. Obviously they must have some information that you don't have.
August 27, 2010 at 12:39 PM

BL says:

Ice is used to treat injury. It causes the blood vessels to narrow and limits internal bleeding at the injury site. It keeps swelling from impeding recovery.

A major league pitcher may know before his arm even starts hurting that he's probably overused his arm, has probably done injury to it, and therefore the ice is automatic. No throwing, no job. It's a chance he takes.

You, on the other hand, are a twelve-year-old with no contract. Your arm is not finished forming yet, either. You should not be throwing to the point that you are injuring your joint or muscles at this point in your career. Do not ice after you throw unless you know you've accidentally overdone it. Never overdo it on purpose, and once you've realized that your limit is lower than you thought, DO LESS IN THE FUTURE. You do not want to ruin your arm before you've even hit high school. It does happen.

A major league pitcher wants to hang on to his career. You want your arm to be absolutel
August 27, 2010 at 12:47 PM

BL says:

Oh, and by the way, a surprising amount of how professional athletes treat their bodies is based on myth and hearsay. Don't take your guidance from what your favorite athlete does. It may not have a thing to do with his or her success, or else it may have nothing to do with your case. Instead, learn how to treat your body from competent trainers and physical therapists, and have the chutzpah to ask them how they know what they're saying is correct. If the research isn't there, take even that advice with a bit of a grain of salt. The "because we've always done it that way" myth and the "some people I think a lot of have started trying this on the theory that" gambit even have their way in medicine, sometimes.
September 23, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Dan says:

The question from Carter is should I ice?
This is a great question, particularly as he is not saying he hurts.
Carter, apparently is just gathering information to make an informed decision based on that intelligence gathering. This kid can come work for me anytime.
You should prophylactically ice as Betty sarcastically points out. In addition to following Tony and BLs advice on training.
There is almost no downside to icing.

icing is done primarily for three reasons:
acute injury/surgery
chronic pain/swelling management

1. Acute icing;
which is partially covered in BLs comment about icing an injury, this also include post operative recovery as it is a modality employed to decrease both pain, and to enable recovery. Also, icing immediately after an injury limits swelling before it increases the time needed for rehab and can tremendously aid diagnosis. Thats why icing immediately
December 12, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Joe D says:

a 12 year old who needs to ice his arm= throwing too much without the proper stretching before workouts, overthrowing til exhaustion and throwing too many pitches and improper technique. Any youth that is pitching should throw the maximum amount of pitches that is calculated 100x his age [12] , this would give the pitcher 1200 pitches for the entire calender year, at this age that should also include instruction, also train for the sport your participating in [running,pushups,pullups....ect]
February 8, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Carter Franklin says:

Carter's dad here. Carter's arm is seldom sore after pitching. He had a coach tell him he should always ice his arm after pitching and another told him not to. We were just trying to find out what is the proper way to treat his arm after a game day of pitching.
February 22, 2011 at 3:29 PM

christian says:

Carter's Father:

I am a D1 collegiate pitcher and every coach ive had says to ice, including here at college. Unfortunately they are INCORRECT!!!!! Most of these guys saying to ice are older guys who believe icing is the way to go because they BELIEVE in it.

My coach always asks why I dont. Hes finally starting to realize its not necessary because my arm is nearly fully recovered two days after i throw whereas his other pitchers are still sore on day three and four.

Icing is done when there is swelling. Im not sure if you have ever looked at your sons arm, but unless hes sprained it, torn something, or messed it up in some substantial way, it has probably not swollen after throwing.

Sprints are your friend on this one. you dont want to do anything the day of throwing post game except maybe some shoulder exercises with bands. If you run right after you throw, all the nutrients that rush to your arm to repair the microtears, instead rush to
February 22, 2011 at 3:32 PM

christian says:

your legs. Instead do so the day after you throw.

heres an article disproving the old theories of icing: http://www.pitching.com/articles/view/should-pitchers-ice-after-they-pitch-not-according-to-the-research

Hope this helps!
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