About Cricket Injuries

Cricket requires a variety of physical attributes including speed, power, endurance, strength, balance and coordination. The skill set of modern day players encourages the youth to train to play like their icons. At the same time, most athletes, from elite to recreational, are not completely isolated from injuries.
In this section, we share some facts and tips about the 5 most common cricket injuries so that you can:
•    Know about their most probable causes and symptoms
•    Take steps to minimize the chances of occurrence of an injury
•    Know about the intervention steps if injury does occur*
Note: Diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries is highly subjective and is a resultant of multiple factors. The guidelines shared here are general in nature and are meant for educating our readers. You are advised to consult our Sports Physician or Physiotherapist for a proper diagnosis and rehabilitation plan.
 

•    Most Probable Scenario:
o    Bowlers:  while stopping after delivering the ball
o    Batsmen or Fielders:  going for a quick sprint (like taking a single) and having pain in back part of thigh
•    Extent of Injury: Muscle may be overstretched or torn, resulting in pain at the back of the thigh.
•    Symptoms: Pain while walking and stretching, mainly at the back of the thigh.
First Aid: within 48 hrs
•    Rest from play. Do not run or stretch hamstring,
•    Icing for 15 minutes every 3 hrs.
•    Application of a compression bandage to contain any swelling (if present)
•    Elevate the limb as much as possible
Rehabilitation: Starts 2-5 days from injury
•    As soon as the pain has subsided, the athlete can begin gentle exercises to improve the normal range of motion at the knee joint.
•    Athlete is advised not to cross the pain threshold, as this will slow down the healing process.
•    The muscle building phase and Return to Play should happen under the supervision of a Sports Physiotherapist to ensure complete healing of the hamstring muscle.
Prevention Strategies:
It may not always be possible to prevent a hamstring strain but these are some of the steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of injury;
•    A proper musculoskeletal assessment by a trained professional to ascertain any weakness or imbalance in the hip and knee musculature.
•    Proper dynamic warm up prior to play and cool down with stretches after play.
•    Gradual build up of exercise load to prevent sudden overload.
•    Wear firm, stable, well fitting shoes.
•    Incorporating some eccentric exercises in fitness regime so as to strengthen the muscle against injuries in both phases of contraction i.e. concentric and eccentric.
 

•    Common overuse injury affecting the dominant hand of the player.
•    Most Probable Cause: Due to impact on rotator cuff tendons causing sharp pain in overhead activities.
•    Symptoms:  Pain around the shoulder, often at the outer portion of the upper arm. The pain is worse with activities such as throwing, delivering the ball.
First Aid: within 48 hrs
•    Rest from play
•    Icing to reduce the inflammation
•    Sometimes anti inflammatory medication may be prescribed depending on severity.
Rehabilitation:
•    Important to start an exercise programme monitored by a Sports Physician or a Sports Physiotherapist and to treat the cause of the impingement.
•    Recovery begins with establishing good joint mechanics with gentle mobilizing exercises and then strengthening the weakened musculature with resistance tubing.
Prevention:
•    A musculoskeletal assessment to ascertain muscle imbalance between the shoulder movers and the stabilizers. Inflexibility of the muscles increases the chances of this injury.
•    Proper warm up of the key shoulder muscles prior to play and stretching the shoulder after play
•    Preventative shoulder muscle exercises of the shoulder stabilizers taught by a trained strength coach or a sports physiotherapist
•    Avoid playing too many games in too short a period as fatigue plays an important role in this kind of injury.

•    Also called MTSS (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome) or Periostitis
•    An overuse injury of the lower leg.
•    Most Probable Cause: Overuse of the lower leg muscles (calf, posterior tibial and flexor muscles of the toes). These muscles are important in maintaining your balance during standing, running and jumping
•    Symptoms: Sharp pain, usually on the upper 2/3rd or the lower 1/3rd of the shin(tibia). The pain often affects both legs and gets worse when playing, jumping, sprinting or jogging. Initially the pain improves after a good warm up but it then returns during exercise and persists after exercise.
First Aid: within 48 hrs
•    If exercising, switch to non weight bearing exercise, stop playing on hard surfaces till pain subsides
•    Pain on walking is an indicator to stop playing altogether.
•    Ice application for 15 minutes every 3 hours, direct massage with the ice cube along the bone helps to decrease inflammation.
•    The footwear must be changed if worn out.
Rehabilitation:
•    Do not train with pain as it delays recovery.
•    Rehabilitation takes place in phases:  from improving normal function to strengthening the calf muscles (especially tibialis posterior) and finally return to play.
•    Athlete must be trained to regain static and dynamic balance.
•    Begin by playing on softer surfaces.
•    Footwork drills with small steps ensuring positioning the feet well without loading the shin are important.
Prevention:
•    A detailed musculoskeletal assessment to check for any calf, knee and hip muscle inflexibility or weakness.
•    Performing a thorough warm-up before every training session or match – including stretching exercises for the calf muscles.
•    You can use massage to help the recovery of the deep calf muscles after heavy training or matches. Do not use friction massage on the shinbone itself.
•    Wear properly fitting shoes while playing, and properly fitting trainers when working out.
Note: If you have any (moderate) foot deformity, such as flat foot or high arches, you may need to wear special shoe inserts (orthotics). Please get in touch with Sporting Ethos to get your custom-made inserts.
 

•    Most Common Symptom: Pain on the outer part of elbow while gripping.
•    Most common in Batsmen, pain on outer part of elbow, pain increases on gripping the handle of bat, or while playing a shot.
First Aid: within 48 hrs
•    Rest from play
•    Icing to reduce the inflammation
•    Sometimes anti inflammatory medication may be prescribed by depending on severity.
Rehabilitation:
•    Important to start an exercise program monitored by a Sports Physician or a Sports Physiotherapist and to treat the cause of the impingement.
•    Recovery begins with establishing good joint mechanics with gentle mobilizing exercises and then strengthening the weakened musculature with resistance tubing.
Prevention:
•    Proper warm-up of the key elbow muscles prior to play and stretching the wrist and elbow joint after play.
•    Strengthening of wrist extensors with resistance tubing and stretching of the same muscles to maintain the normal range.
 

•    Ligament of the knee, front part of the knee, deep to patella bone.
•    Injured while falling with a twisted knee, unable to bear weight, sharp snap sound at time of injury, feeling of knee going out while walking.
•    Instant swelling on knee.
First Aid: within 48 hrs Icing, compression with crepe bandages and elevation of the knee, protect the knee by a brace or pneumatic sling.

Rehabilitation:
•    Starts with limiting pain and swelling.
•    Once pain and swelling subsides, begin with heel slides on bed and over wall to restore normal range of motion.
•    Strengthening begins with isometric contractions and progress on to weigh-bearing activities once pain is no longer present.
•    Closed-kinetic chain activities (squats, lunges etc). are advised at all times
Prevention:
•    A detailed musculoskeletal assessment to check for any calf, knee and hip muscle inflexibility or weakness.
•    Thorough warm-up before every training session or match – including stretching exercises.
•    Strengthen hamstring in eccentric mode of action too, include single leg dead lift and glute-hams stretch in regular workout sessions too.
•    Include balance and co-ordination drills in your workouts; strengthen hamstring muscles which act as a secondary mechanism to support ACL.