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Most Common Cricket Injuries and How to Treat Them


With the current cricket season in Australia slowly coming to an end, there’s a good chance some people might have gotten injured during a game or are just experiencing some post-game niggles. Below we’ve listed the most common cricket injuries and the best way to treat them (or prevent them!). Hopefully they offer some insight and inspiration for your workouts or rehab journey.

Of course the best course of action after getting injured is to see a professional and make a personalized plan to get back to doing all of the activities you love doing.


1. Rotator cuff injuries

What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that help stabilize the shoulder and aid in movement. The most common injuries are strains, tendinitis and bursitis. Repetitive movements can lead to an overloading of tissue. As bowlers and fielders use their shoulders a lot, they’re at risk of rotator cuff injuries.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury?

  • Pain during certain activities
  • Difficulty achieving full range of motion
  • Pain or tenderness when reaching or working overhead
  • Trouble reaching behind the back
  • Weakness of the shoulder

How to best treat a rotator cuff injury

Treatments for a rotator cuff injury range from just resting the arm to surgery, depending on the severity of the injury. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, it’s best to contact a physiotherapist or doctor as quickly as possible to keep the injury from getting worse.
A few treatments to improve symptoms include:

  • Applying a hot or cold pack to the shoulder
  • Resting the affected arm
  • Exercises to restore strength
  • Exercises to restore range of motion
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

How can a rotator cuff injury be prevented?

  • Take frequent rest breaks – this will reduce the load on the shoulder
  • Exercises to strengthen the shoulder(s)
  • Stretching exercises to encourage range of motion

2. Medial meniscus tear

What is the meniscus?
The medial meniscus is a C-shaped area of cartilage located at the top of the tibia bone in your lower leg. It helps to protect the knee joint from the stress of running, walking and bending.

What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?

  • Pain in the knee joint that comes and goes and gets worse when putting load through the knee
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • A feeling of giving way, locking or catching when you bend the knee

How to best treat a meniscus tear

  • Physical therapy (exercises to strengthen the knee, regain range of motion and get back to your activity)
  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

How can a meniscus tear be prevented?

  • Keep your thigh muscles strong with regular strength exercises
  • Do a proper warm up before training or a game
  • Give your body proper time to rest between workouts
  • Make sure you wear good and firm shoes
  • Maintain flexibility/range of motion
  • When increasing the intensity of your workout do it gradually, never abruptly

3. Ankle sprains

What is an ankle sprain?
Ankles are put under a lot of strain during cricket. A sprained ankle means that there’s damage to the ligaments and soft tissue of the ankle. This often happens when the ankle twists inwards or outwards (though inwards is most common) and can sometimes occur when bowlers land in old foot marks at the bowling crease or when batsmen turn from running.

What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?

  • Pain when bearing weight on the foot
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Instability in the ankle
  • A popping/snapping sensation at the time of injury
  • Tenderness when touching the ankle

How to best treat an ankle sprain

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
  • Use sports tape or an ankle brace to stabilize the ankle
  • Do exercises to restore your ankle’s range of motion
  • Do exercises to improve strength, flexibility and stability of the ankle

How to prevent an ankle sprain?

  • Do a proper warm up before exercising
  • Be extra mindful when walking or running on an uneven surface
  • Wear good and firm shoes
  • Practice stability training
  • Maintain good muscle strength and flexibility

4. Thrower’s Elbow (‘Golfer’s Elbow’)

What is a thrower’s elbow?
Thrower’s elbow is medically known as medial epicondylitis. Pain is often felt on the inside of the elbow and can often occur at the start of the season due to a sudden increase of workload or at the end of the season due to fatigue. Throwing can often be a key factor.

What are the symptoms of Thrower’s Elbow?

  • Pain on the inside of the elbow
  • Limited range of motion
  • In some cases, tingling and/or numbness in the elbow, forearm or hand

How to best treat Thrower’s Elbow

  • Correcting throwing form (through a throwing analysis and coaching)
  • Physical therapy including exercises to restore and improve mobility and strength throughout all the muscles and joints that are required to throw properly
  • Give your arm proper time to rest

How to best prevent Thrower’s Elbow?

  • Don’t throw through elbow or shoulder pain
  • Respect pitch counts and recommended days rest after each outing and take a minimum of 2 months of active rest every year
  • Play non-throwing sports in the off-season
  • Improve strength of the shoulder, chest and arm
  • Maintain flexibility of the throwing arm
  • Make sure you have proper pitching mechanics

5. Side strain

What is a side strain?
A side muscle strain is when the internal oblique muscles tear away from one of the four lower ribs or the costal cartilage. Bowling requires a large amount of side bending, placing the lateral muscles under a great amount of repetitive strain.

What are the symptoms of a side strain?

  • A sudden, sharp onset of pain when bowling
  • Pain may occur in muscles between the ribs or in the side of your abdomen
  • Pain when taking a deep breath
  • Bruising at the site of the injury
  • Pain with any movement of the upper body

How to best treat a side strain

  • Take a good amount of rest
  • Do exercises to improve side strength
  • Implement a stretching routine
  • Use an ice/heat pack on the affected side
  • Use a back brace

How to best prevent a side strain?

  • Do a proper warm up
  • Do exercises to improve side strength
  • Do stretching exercises (before working out)
  • Keep the torso warm and perform a series of trunk rotation and side flexion exercises


Resources:
https://www.healthline.com/health/rotator-cuff-injury#prevention
https://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/health-matters/mens-health/common-cricket-injuries#nahttps://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/musculoskeletal-and-rheumatology/2018/september/meniscus-tears-why-you-should-not-let-them-go-untreated
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sprained-ankle/symptoms-causes/syc-20353225https://www.reboundmd.com/news/pitcher%E2%80%99s-elbow-symptoms-and-treatments#:~:text=The%20first%20treatment%20of%20most,and%20nonsteroidal%20anti%2Dinflammatory%20drugs.
https://www.hss.edu/playbook/elbow-injury-prevention-tips-for-the-throwing-athlete/
https://www.vivehealth.com/blogs/resources/side-strain

Post Author: physioyves