Cricket Injury Prevention

It’s that time of year when summer sports such as cricket are underway. Training and playing hard to achieve the team goal of becoming the best in the division and ultimately taking out the championship. One of the biggest obstacles in achieving these goals are injuries.

Part of the problem is that sports such as cricket, are seasonal sports so there is opportunity to lose conditioning in cardiovascular endurance as well as sport specific strength over the winter months. Often players then really slog it out and work hard in pre-season, sometimes pushing too hard, another opportunity for lurking injuries to present themselves.

Even at the elite level of cricket as seen by Michael Clarke, who suffers from hamstring tightness and lower back problems, injuries can affect form and your ability to play what you love. So here are some common cricket injuries and some simple ways to prevent them.

Common Cricket injuries

  • Ankle sprains
  • Hamstring tears and/or tightness
  • Lower back pain
  • Groin strain
  • Shoulder pain

Prevention Strategies

These strategies can help prevent musculoskeletal injuries and to help with overall fitness levels. You could add them to your regime now but they are great to continue with during the off-season and pre-season as well. They will help to reduce risks when coming back to training.

  • Core strengthening and stability control
    • Pilates
    • Yoga
    • TRX
  • Dynamic stretching as a warm up before training and static stretching after training
    • Dynamic stretching is where you move in and out of the stretch such as in a lunging walk
    • Static stretching is where you hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds.
  • Specific cricket strengthening/stretching routine (bio-mechanical analysis)
    • This may involve rotator cuff muscles for shoulder stability for example. This is where you need someone to assess your strengths and weaknesses and write a program specific for you. This is often done by a Clinical Pilates instructor, Exercise Physiologist or a Myotherapist just to name a few.
  • Technique correction
    • Select Physiotherapists, Myotherapists and Exercise Physiologists that have had experience with cricket players in the past will be able to help with this.
  • General fitness levels (aerobic fitness)
    • Running, bike riding, swimming and so on. It is good to do a mix of cardio activities to avoid overuse injuries.

Treatment options and advice if an injury occur

  • RICER (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate and Refer)
    • From time of injury and then for 48-72 hours post injury
  • Avoid HARM (Heat, Alcohol, Running and Massage)
    • From time of injury and then for 48-72 hours post injury
  • Early injury treatment or advice
    • Musculoskeletal experts are great for advice when you injure yourself. Depending on the injury there may be varying treatment options available.

The wait and see approach

We often hear patients say “I thought it was better, the pain had gone and now I’ve done it worse!” Without correct management or rehabilitation a simple ankle injury, for example, can be 85% to 90% recurrent if left untreated with residual symptoms occurring after a lateral ankle sprain affecting 55% to 72% of patients at 6 weeks to 18 months. So just because the pain has gone away, doesn’t mean that full strength and usability has returned to a joint, muscle or tendon. It is always best to get it checked out.

Daniel Bishop is a Clinical Myotherapist at Waverley Myotherapy Clinic. He and colleague Jonathan Ebersberger can help you with any Cricket injuries or questions you may have. Go to http://www.waverleymyotherapyclinic.com.au for more details.

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