What we’ll cover
What is the most common injury in cricket?
With the cricket season just around the corner, our physiotherapist Vernon Mittal identifies the most common injuries in cricket. Traditionally, cricket is a game played over a long period of time with short, sharp bursts of high-intensity activities. As a result, this can place dramatic increases and changes to the musculoskeletal system.
Whilst back related injuries associated with bowling have been common among cricketers, the increase in shorter forms and increasing participation in junior cricket from boys and girls has increased the risk and likelihood of other musculoskeletal injuries.
Common cricket injuries
- Low back pain related to stress fractures or stress reactions
- Shoulder pain associated with throwing and repetitive bowling
- Hamstring or calf strains
- Side strains – abdominal muscles
What factors contribute to cricket injuries?
Being a repetitive sport, cricket is no different to injuries associated with overuse or from being overzealous. Muscles, joints and bones require gradual time to adapt positively to increased stresses and strains. This includes both short term recovery between sessions and games as well as gradually increasing load from week to week. It is important to monitor workload especially the number of deliveries over longer periods of time. In particular, we know that the risk of injury from overload is most likely to present 2 – 3 weeks following a dramatic increase.
Depending on the maturity of the skeletal system, bony related injuries such as stress fractures of the back and spine are more likely to occur in junior athletes. The skeletal system does not fully mature until the mid 20s which makes junior cricketers at a higher risk of developing bone specific injuries such as stress fractures.
Technique and biomechanics of bowling and throwing:
Bowling and throwing is an asymmetrical movement that loads up multiple areas of the body from the upper limb all the way through to the ankle. Different bowling techniques and styles place differing amounts of stress throughout the body. Often these techniques can be based on strength, flexibility, previous injuries and your body’s natural shape and build.
What can I do to prevent cricket injuries?
Simple strategies that can reduce the likelihood of injury associated with cricket include targeting key cricket muscle groups and building up a fitness base during preseason. Specific muscle groups to target for cricket include the shoulder rotator cuff and core and gluteal muscles.
The other important aspect to cricket pre-season is to build cardiovascular fitness base. Our team recommend a mixture of sessions aimed at the aerobic and anaerobic systems. The aerobic system is trained through relatively low level intensity exercises for long periods of time. Exercises suitable for this include jogging, cycling and rowing. Power exercises and shorter bursts are great ways to train the anaerobic system. Sprints can be performed over 20-40m to simulate cricketing activities such as running between wickets, running into bowl and chasing a ball in the field.
Our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy can provide cricket specific assessments and treatments of your injury. Our AxIT technology allow us to specifically assess your strength and flexibility as well as provide strength and conditioning in our onsite gym.