Managing Pain on Twitter

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Yesterday a twitter friend reached out for help in a post featuring a video of a young man.

@WomackStrength said:
“Hey #PitchingTwitter I have some questions for you:
1. What problems could you see arising from this arm path?
2. How would you improve this arm path?”

@PitchMechanics replied:
“I try to default to @FLBaseballRanch’s pillars. If there’s no pain, Velo and command are where they should be for age, and H’s are going back to the dugout angry, why change?”

@WomackStrength the responded:
“He’s 14 and has been dealing with elbow pain (not UCL area)”

After some consideration I chimed in:
“Ok. It’s a bit more complicated than arm path and twitter. I’ll respond in a blog this afternoon and link it in a tweet.”

So… here’s my answer:

Managing arm pain is complicated.
At The Florida Baseball Ranch might know as much as anyone about assessing and managing arm pain. Still, anytime you ask us why a player’s arm hurts we’ll tell you…
“We don’t know.”

That’s because when dealing with arm pain, you’ll rarely ever find one specific cause. Instead a combination of  variables merge in the perfect storm to create an environment where pain or injury can occur. One of the flaws in the western medical pardigm is the assumption that if we can find a diagnosis, we can find a cure.

About 4 years ago, a revelation enlightened our thinking and changed our approach. We stopped looking for “diagnoses” and “causes” and developed a repeatable, easy-to-implement system for identifying and addressing all “dysfunction” and “possible contributors”. We will never know exactly why an athlete’s arm hurts. But, the cool thing is… we don’t have to know. The athlete’s infinitely intelligent body knows and if we’re willing to listen, it will tell us what we need to know.

It all starts with the pain — That’s actually the title of our book and video published during the summer of 2017 that describes the process in detail. In our system pain is neither good nor bad. Pain is information — a beacon that lights the way to identifying dysfunction and contributors. If you tell us where you hurt, we can tell you the most likely contributors to pain in that area.


Recall the 6 types of contributors to arm pain and sub-par performance:

Any of these categories — and probably some combination of all of them — can contribute to arm pain.

So, let’s take a look at the player in question.

According to @WomackStrength, the young man is complaining of “elbow pain (not UCL area). That would indicate he is having pain in the lateral or posterior elbow.

Here is a list of the possible physical constraints that can contribute to lateral and/or posterior elbow pain:

Scapular dyskinesia
Glenohumeral (shoulder) internal rotation deficit
Thoracic rotation deficit
Tight hip flexors
Tight quads
Tight lateral hips
Poor ankle mobility
Deep squat or hurdle step functional movement disorder.

Here is a list of all the possible biomechanical contributors:

Crossing the acromial line or “stabbing”
Inverted W
Forearm flyout
Forearm play
Early torso rotation
Inefficient glute activation
Counter rotation of the pelvis and/or torso
Poor hip rotation into launch
Lead leg disconnection
Front kneeleakage
A linear deceleration pattern

For a more detailed explanation of each of these items, go to our App store on your phone, search the words, “Arm Pain Assassin” and download the totally free Arm Pain Assassin app.

After you register, you’ll able to click where you hurt and access a series of videos outlining all the possible physical and biomechanical contributors to pain in that area. You’ll never have to wonder why your arm hurts again… and best of all, it’s 100% free.

Keep in mind that The Arm Pain Assassin App only covers the first 2 types of contributors. You’ll still need to assess the athletes warmup, ramp up, recovery and preparation. You’ll also need to investigate his training habits in the weight room and in his throwing program to identify any possible contributors. Additionally, you should evaluate his workload, his sleep, nutrition, and psychological stress — all of which can become contributors to pain or injury.

Arm pain is complicated.

Start With The Pain: The Complete Guide To Managing Arm Pain in the Elite Throwing Athlete makes the process simple.

If you’re having arm pain, don’t wait and hope it disappears.

Call us a 866-787-4533 and ask Amy to schedule a four hour Precision Strike One Day, One-on-one Evaluation and Training Session.
We’ll help you solve your pain fast.

See you at The Ranch

Randy Sullivan, MPT, CSCS

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