My 15 year old son is a catcher for a high school baseball team. He has caught 8 of 10 games so far. He didn’t play in the game a few days ago because he said his arm is hurting. He thought he would be alright with only 1 day of rest between games last week, but he sat out the entire game. Should he be icing his arm everyday after throwing or should he be icing everyday regardless if he throws or not? I have read conflicting reports that say icing is not good for recovery.
Without doing an examination it is hard to comment on your son’s condition, but we can provide some general information regarding his pain. In general we can say that icing is a helpful tool to help manage inflammation and it’s associated pains. The pain that he is experiencing in the shoulder could be associated with a wide array of causes. Some of these include general muscles soreness, strains and sprains of muscles and ligaments as well as other potentially more serious traumas. These tissues can take anywhere from weeks to months to heal.
We recommend that your son been seen by a trained Physical Therapist to get a better picture of the problem. A Physical Therapist is well trained in assessing these types of conditions using a thorough process that can help identify exactly what the injured tissues are and how we can further treat them. They can also help you figure out if your son requires further assessment by another medical provider. In the meantime icing should not exceed 15-20 minute intervals greater than once every few hours. It is recommended to use a barrier between the ice and the skin.
**This reply is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, physical therapist, or other qualified health provider with a medical condition.