We are hearing more and more cases of Tendinitis developing in our youth pitchers. The normal recommendations or treatments for recovery are Ice, rest and a lot of Ibuprofen. How does all of this relate to the recovery process on the pitching arm? Well, we all know that there is definitely an overuse of young pitching arms. Some pitchers now days are playing for three different leagues or teams. They might play for a Super League team, City league and a fall league team. Regardless of each league counting pitches, Many pitchers are starting two or three games a week on the mound. That is ridiculous! There is no recovery time for the arm and less preparation time for your next outing.
How do we take care of Tendinitis or prevent it? The Diet plays a major role in the inflammatory process; the foods that you eat can stimulate inflammation and feed it like gas on a fire. Inflammation is the breakdown of old cells and the replacement of new cells. The diet that you’re on can stimulate more of a chronic type of inflammatory response. As a pitcher, you want to make sure that you are eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in essential fats.
There is value to Ice and rest, but there are many parents out there that give their kids too much Ibuprofen. Much of our diet is deficient in essential fatty acids EFA’s. A lot of authors right now are writing about how the body is dealing with the inflammatory diet and say it is causing a prolonged effect on inflammation. In fact, there are necessary fats that we need in our diet. For the last 30 years the typical diet for Americans is anti fat, limited fat or no fat diets. The essential fats are Omega 3’s that prevent inflammation. DHA is good for your liver and your brain. EPA’s good for your joints. They slow down the inflammatory response.
When you throw a baseball you are constantly wearing on the ligaments, tendons and joints themselves. Choose Omega 3’s that are rich in these essential fatty acids and not really rely on all of the ibuprofen. There is a lot of late research being done about the effects of Ibuprofen that suggest that it can actually slow down the healing process of tendinitis. The other danger of Ibuprofen is that you can play with pain and continue to damage the surrounding tendons and ligaments in your throwing arm.