Common injuries in cricket
Injuries in Cricket could be classified as direct injuries or indirect injuries. Direct injuries are due to impact with the cricket ball, bat or ground. Indirect injuries occur mostly overuse due to repetitive movement. The most commonly injured body parts are lower back, thighs, shoulder and hand. Fast bowlers have the highest injury prevalence rate followed by batsmen.
Upper limb Injuries
The most common cause of shoulder injuries to cricketers is a result of fielding. Overuse of the shoulder when throwing repeatedly during fielding in a cricket game can lead to problems such as tendinitis in the biceps, a tear of the supraspinatus tendon or even degenerative changes to the rotator cuff which could result in a surgery to fix the tear. Impingement, a syndrome that occurs when the rotator cuff muscles are inflamed or irritated, is a major injury risk that can develop amongst bowlers. A 2001–2002 study focused on identifying a workload threshold that would avoid an increased risk in shoulder injuries. The study found that bowlers who produced an average of 123–188 deliveries per week were less likely to face injury whereas bowlers who averaged below 123 deliveries or above 188 deliveries per week were at a greater risk of causing injury.
Injuries to the Elbow are predominantly a result of poor techniques when both batting and bowling. Having a poor technique causes excess strain on the joint resulting in inflammation of the tendons surrounding the elbow. The inflammation can be treated through physiotherapy and rehabilitation to reduce the inflammation and strengthen the imbalance in the forearm.
Majority of injuries sustained to the hands and wrists of a cricketer are impact injuries from the contact of the ball causing fractures, dislocations and sprains. Wicket keepers are particularly prone to hand injuries. Injuries to the fingers are the most common regarding the hand, and are often splinted and compressed to reduce swelling around the joint. Physiotherapy is essential to ensure the stiffness of the joint does not become too severe so that movement at the joint returns to normal.
The most common injury location for most cricketers, more specifically bowlers, is the back. According to Stretch (1995), incidences of 33.3% for schoolboys and 17% of A-grade players most commonly suffer from back injuries. Studied techniques of international bowlers who had a side-on action and a front-on action to determine which was a better option regarding the players back. This study reached a solution that "an inability to achieve a side-on orientation during the delivery stride was the main cause of back injuries". Pain in the lower back area is the most common problem that young bowlers face. When performing a bowling action continuously for long periods of time can place excess stress on the lower back muscle tissue which can then lead to serious stress fractures of the vertebra. These stress fractures can lead to a significant amount of time out of the game.
Lower limb injuries
The most common injuries associated with the knee in cricket occur when a player is bowling. In the landing stride, bowlers are constantly twisting and putting extreme force through the knee joint, this can then result in a strain or more severely a tear to the collateral ligaments. Patellar tendinopathy is a common knee injury that occurs most commonly in bowlers due to the overuse of the tendon which can lead to the tendon fibres beginning to break down. David Lawrence, an English fast bowler is one particular example of how the landing stride when bowling can cause serious injuries to the knee. On 10 February 1992, his left patella shattered during a delivery.
Epidemiological studies looking at the most common injuries that affect fast bowlers found that 11% of injuries involve the foot and the ankle. Majority of the injuries to the feet and ankles of fast bowlers are a result of the impact of the foot planted in the delivery stride. A bowler who's forefoot in their delivery stride is a plantar flex action can cause posterior impingement. After long durations this plantar flexion can lead to the creation of a bone spur which can then be treated through surgery.
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