As summer rolls around and the Australian cricket season is bearing down on us, it is important to have a good understanding of what common injuries in cricket may occur and how best to prevent them.
Playing cricket is a great form of exercise. It involves coordination, strength and speed. But standing out in the blistering sun for an entire day can begin to take its toll and the risk of injury can increase.
Whether you are batting, bowling or fielding, it is important to know what sports injuries are most common.
Speed and quick changes in direction are important skills to make a good cricketer. Hamstring strains are common injuries in cricket when we are trying to push the pace to track down a loose ball or to grab a quick single.
Hamstring injuries occur when the muscle is put under too much stress resulting in a mild strain or tear. These injuries happen very suddenly with rapid acceleration or a change in direction. There will be sharp pain located at the back of the thigh. This can be from anywhere below the buttock down to the back of the knee.
Hamstring injuries can range from serious to very mild. Walking will be difficult and moving the knee will cause the pain behind the thigh to increase.
Our shoulders play an important role in all aspects of cricket. We generate a large amount of power when swinging our arms when throwing, batting or bowling.
Shoulder injuries can commonly occur. Similarly, repetitive throwing or swinging our arms can put increased risk on the tendons in our shoulders. This can lead to inflammation. Bowling injuries can be commonly shoulder injuries.
With these injuries, you may find it difficult to perform normal shoulder movements, particularly movements above your head.
Lower back strains
Lower back pain can commonly happen during many typical cricketing movements.
The action of bowling requires a large amount of torque from our lumbar spine to generate speed.
All batting shots require a stable lower back as the basis for generating the power to play the best shots.
Like many other strains, lower limb injuries happen when there is an overload in the muscles of the lumbar spine.
However, over time, doing the same repeated movement can trigger a strain in the lower back. Often these injuries are at a higher risk of occurring when we are fatigued.
Usually, there will be an aching type of pain in the lumbar spine and bending our back in different directions can bring about our pain.
Most commonly, pain in the knee can occur when a bowler takes their final stride in their bowling action.
Just before we bowl, the knee joint is put under a large amount of stress as it acts as the base to swing our body forward.
There is an extreme level of twisting forces the knee must resist and these forces can lead to injuries within the knee.
A cricketing injury to the knee can be characterised by pain at the front, sides or back of the knee.
How to prevent these injuries?
- Warm up and stretch – having an adequate warm up is critical in preparing the muscles for cricket
- Good technique – having good mechanics is important in the prevention of injuries and muscle overload in all aspects of cricket
- Have the right gear – making sure you wear appropriate footwear and protective gear can help protect you from injury
- Regular practice – Familiarising your body with movements typically used in cricket is a great way to prepare our body for the different loads and forces when we play
If you have any questions, or are looking to sort out any niggles or injuries, contact us on 0298753760 or book and appointment at https://wphphysio.com.au