With spring baseball season underway, and a new summer season around the corner, some players are already showing signs of fatigue with many games left to play.\nDuring this time of year, questions often arise about surviving the season, like:\n\nWhat do I do if my arm is sore?\nWhen is it OK to throw after my arm has been sore?\nHow many pitches can I throw?\n\nWhen your arm is sore, it’s your body’s way of telling you it has been overworked or over stressed. To some degree, the warning of soreness is OK \u2014 as long as you listen to it.\nArm #soreness is your body's way of telling you it's overworked - make sure you listen to it! Click To Tweet\nWhat Does It Mean When Your Arm Hurts?\nWhen we talk about arm soreness, we do not mean severe shoulder pain or sharp pains in the shoulder, neck, or elbow. These could indicate more serious conditions and should be examined by a medical professional.\nThe type of soreness that occurs after throwing is generally caused by over stressing the rotator cuff muscles.\nPitching is usually the position that produces a large degree of stress, secondary to the number of throws and the intensity level of each throw.\n> Learn more about baseball overuse injuries.\nWhy Are Your Arms Sore?\nThe rotator cuff muscles cause rotational acceleration (concentric contraction) of the upper arm to propel the ball. They also slow down the arm after the ball is released, causing an eccentric contraction during deceleration.\nThese motions cause the muscles to become overstretched and sore.\nSome theorize that this arm soreness is caused by micro-tearing of the muscle tissue; icing after throwing is an attempt to reduce the inflammation process.\nRELATED:\u00a0Treating Arm and Shoulder Injuries in Throwing Athletes\nWhat to Do If Your Arm Hurts\nYour arm needs rest after it’s stressed. By stopping the actions that produced the soreness, like throwing, the body heals over time. Continuing to throw compounds the problem, and:\n\nIncreases the risk of more serious damage to the muscles and joints\nReduces power generation\nLimits performance\n\nHow much rest for pitchers?\nThink of it this way \u2014 if you ran a marathon on Monday would you run another one on Tuesday?\nThere’s no magic number on how much time is enough to start throwing again. Everyone has a different threshold. The amount of rest time depends on how much stress was induced and how resistant the muscles were to the stress. This resistance can be altered by increasing strength and endurance in the specific muscles used in throwing.\nHow many pitches?\nSome organizations, like National Little League\u00ae, have instituted pitch count rules for various age groups. For example, if you pitch X pitches you must rest X amount of time before pitching again and there are maximums that can be reached. Although this is a good safety measure, it does not account for players that participate in multiple leagues. The best advice is to listen to your body. Don’t overdo it if you’re sore.\nRELATED:\u00a0Common Sports Injuries: Baseball\nTips for Reducing Arm Soreness\n\nTrain. Baseball specific training in the off-season, and a maintenance program in season, will help you maintain your strength and stamina.\nWarm up properly before throwing.\nEnsure proper throwing technique. Make sure you are throwing with your whole body. Your legs and core have much more power and stamina than your arm, so take advantage of it.\nUse ice. Icing immediately after extreme throwing can be helpful.\nListen to your body. Soreness is your body’s way of telling you it needs some time to recover.\n\nTip: Make sure you are utilizing proper throwing technique to diminish arm soreness. #baseball Click To Tweet\nWant to learn more about improving your baseball performance? Visit the UPMC Sports Medicine website.