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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 September;55(9):962-8

language: English

Risk factors for elbow pain in Little League baseball players: a cross-sectional study focusing on developmental factors

Yukutake T. 1, Nagai K. 2, Yamada M. 3, Aoyama T. 1

1 Department of Physical Therapy, Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan;
2 Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Hyago, University of Health Sciences, Kyoto, Japan;
3 Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Kyoto, Japan


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AIM: The incidence of Little League elbow is increasing. However, the risk factors for Little League elbow, especially those related to development have not previously been investigated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the risk factors for elbow pain in Little League baseball players while focusing on the developmental factors.
METHODS: A total of 654 baseball players aged 6-12 years, all male, participated in this study. Participants completed an original questionnaire that included items assessing demographic data, developmental factors (increase in height and increase in weight over the preceding 12 months), and baseball-related factors. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify the risk factors for elbow pain during the 12 months prior to the study.
RESULTS: The data collected for 392 players without omissions or blank answers were submitted to statistical analysis. We found that 19.1% of Little League baseball players had experienced elbow pain in the 12 months leading up to the study. The analysis revealed that height (Odds Ratio [OR], 1.10; 95% confidence interval [95%CI], 1.03-1.17) and increase in height (OR, 1.16; 95%CI, 1.00-1.34) were risk factors that increased the risk of elbow pain after adjustment for demographic data, developmental data, and baseball-related factors.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggested that an increase over height in the last 12 months may predispose young baseball players to elbow pain.

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