Injury prevention tips for cricket injuries

Now that the Ashes are back where they belong(!) it seems a good time to talk about Cricket. Our colleagues at PhysioAdvisor.com have some good advice for prevention of injuries in Cricket Players.

 

Injuries in cricket are common, particularly to fast bowlers. Often these injuries are due to overuse and tend to present gradually over time. Injury prevalence rates in fast bowlers have been recorded at 18%, which is significantly higher than other disciplines: batsmen (7%), spin bowlers (6%) and wicket-keepers (4%).

In younger fast bowlers (under the age of 25), lumbar stress fractures are the most prevalent injury. These injuries tend to occur on the non bowling arm side of the lower back and are typically due to technique errors (such as a ‘mixed bowling action’ or excessive ‘counter rotation’) and/or excessive bowling workloads. In the older fast bowler, however, degenerative lumbar injuries tend to occur more commonly, usually affecting the lumbar discs. Other common injuries to affect fast bowlers are side strains, posterior ankle impingement, and patellar tendinopathy.

The injury with the highest incidence in cricket, however, (across all four disciplines) is a hamstring strain. Traumatic injuries to the hands and fingers are also common, usually as a result of excessive impact of the ball when fielding, wicket-keeping or batting. Throwing injuries, such as rotator cuff tendinopathy, rotator cuff tears and SLAP lesions are also commonly seen.

Most Common Cricket Injuries

  • Batting Injuries
  • Bowling Injuries
  • Wicket-keeping Injuries
  • Fielding Injuries
  • Throwing Injuries

 

A number of factors may contribute to the development of cricket injuries, including:

  • Bowling workload (both excessive bowling and inconsistent bowling frequency)
  • Bowling speed
  • Bowling technique (e.g. mixed action, excessive counter rotation, braced front leg, excessive hyperextension)
  • Poor throwing technique
  • Poor fielding technique
  • Excessive training
  • Inadequate warm up
  • Inadequate recovery between sessions

 

Injury Prevention Tips for Cricket Injuries

Have Your Technique Assessed

Have your bowling action and throwing technique assessed by an experienced cricket coach or cricket physiotherapist to ensure it is safe and efficient. Work closely with them to improve your technique on a regular basis.

Monitor your Bowling Workload

Keep a bowling diary of the number of balls you bowl throughout the week in both matches and at training. Try to avoid sudden increases in the amount of balls bowled per week or per session. Also try to avoid weeks where you do not bowl at all.

For bone and tendon health, you need to maintain a safe and consistent weekly workload throughout the season, ideally bowling at a ratio of one day on and two days off. Try to avoid long ‘spells’ on consecutive days. If you know you will have a big bowling workload in a particularly match or cricket carnival coming up, then try to gradually increase the number of balls bowled in the weeks leading up to prepare your body.

Follow the ‘10% Rule’ to minimise the risk of overuse injury. This means only increasing one variable (intensity, duration or frequency of activity e.g. number of balls bowled) by no more than 10% per week. At the start of the season, gradually increase your bowling workload at training over a number of months rather than suddenly going straight into matches.

Cricket Specific Fitness, Conditioning & Core Stability

Many cricket injuries can be attributed to poor fitness or conditioning, poor flexibility, excessive body weight or skin folds and poor strength or activation of the core stabilisers, such as the gluteals, abdominals, scapular stabilizers, rotator cuff and lower limb muscles.

As part of your training, ensure you spend enough time working on improving your cricket specific fitness, such as repeated run through and agility drills, cricket specific strengthening, core stability and proprioceptive exercises (make an appointment with your Peninsula Sports Medicine Group Physio for more information).

A variety of activities that help develop total body conditioning for cricket, including fitness and muscular strength, endurance, co-ordination, flexibility and power is essential.

Equipment

Wear correctly fitted protective equipment (such as pads, gloves, helmet, protector, mouth guard, protective eyewear etc). Use your own properly fitted equipment rather than borrowing someone else’s. Ensure your equipment is in good condition and ‘up-to-date’.

 

For more information or to make an appointment, you can BOOK ONLINE or call your local clinic.

 

Article above has been adapted and is courtesy of PhysioAdvisor.com

IMAGE: http://cricketaddictor.com/cricket/mitchell-starc-australia-command/ 

 




Swollen and painful joints? Is it arthritis?

Many patients we see suffer from swollen and painful joints as a result of Rheumatoid Arthritis. So what is this painful condition and how can Physiotherapy help? 

WHAT IS IT?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis classified as an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disorders are conditions where the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. This process of inflammation, the bodies defence system against injury and infection can damage joints and cause deformity over a long period of time. Unlike osteoarthritis, which usually affects larger joints that are involved in weight bearing, rheumatoid arthritis can affect many joints at the same time, with smaller and larger joints affected equally.

What are the symptoms?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, characterised by periods of remissions and flare-ups. During a flare-up, joints might become red, hot, swollen and painful. During a remission a patient might have few symptoms, however over many years, these flare-ups can degrade and deform joints, causing them to lose function and the muscles around them to weaken.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary from mild to severe and as mentioned, can fluctuate significantly over time. As movement can help to reduce swelling caused by inflammation, pain can actually increase as joints are rested. A person with rheumatoid arthritis may complain of pain and stiffness that is worst when waking and may take 1-2 hours to subside.

What are the causes?

While rheumatoid arthritis is known to be a process of autoimmune dysfunction, the trigger that causes the immune system attack healthy tissues is unknown. In some cases, a virus may trigger the onset of the disease. There is evidence that women have a stronger immune system than men, and a downside of this is that they are more prone to autoimmune disorders, as is the case with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Other risk factors associated with rheumatoid arthritis include a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, obesity and smoking.

How can physiotherapy help?

While there is no cure at present for the disease process that causes rheumatoid arthritis, there are treatments that can improve the patient’s quality of life and help to manage the symptoms. The first line of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is medication particularly, anti-inflammatory medications. Change in lifestyle and diet are also advised.

The objectives of physiotherapy treatment for rheumatoid arthritis are to improve joint mobility, increase strength, restore the function of the affected joints and to maintain the level of activity of the patient. Physiotherapy treatments include heat or cold therapy, hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercises, pain management, manual techniques and patient education. Splinting may be done to protect joints from further damage. Patient education is an important part of the treatment so that the patient is knowledgeable about his/her disease, what to do and not to do.

All of these treatments can help reduce the potential long-term disabilities caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

For more information or to make an appointment, you can BOOK ONLINE or call your local clinic.

 

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.