Cricket Injuries

Cricket injuries

Article by John Miller

Cricket Injury Rates

Cricket injuries at an elite level in Australia have been demonstrated to occur at a rate of around 18 injuries in total for a squad of 25 players who play twenty matches in a season.

On average, around 9% of cricketers have an injury at any given time, although over 15% are injured at any given time in fast bowlers.

There are very different physical demands involved in various types of cricket, which has meant the injury profile is slightly different between five-day Test Matches, weekend to four-day matches and one-day matches. The launch of Twenty20 cricket has placed a new physical requirement on cricketers, although it is too early for the effects of these demands to be analysed in sports injury research.

Research has indicated that muscle injuries such as hamstring strains and side strains are the most common cricket injuries. These injuries are due to the functional demands of the sport, where you may repeat occasional sprinting and ball throwing across a seven-hour day.

Low back pain is particularly prevalent among younger fast bowlers. The repetitive bowling action for long spells places excessive stress on the lower back tissues, where stress fractures of the vertebra (spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis) can develop.

Cricket Australia Guidelines

Recently Cricket Australia published some guidelines surrounding fast bowling loads for adolescents. These have been designed to minimise the risk of injury.

AGE GROUP-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

U11 2 over limit each spell & 4 over limit per match
U13 4 over limit each spell & 8 over limit per match Target* of 100-120 balls per week
U15 4-6 weeks bowling preparation before the season 5 over limit each spell & 12 over limit per match Target 100-120 balls per week
U17 6-8 weeks bowling preparation before the season 6 over maximum each spell & 16 over limit per match Target 120-150 balls per week
U19 8-10 weeks bowling preparation before the season 7 over limit each spell & 20 over limit per match Target 150-180 balls per week

*weekly targets are a combination of training and match bowling.

Cricket Injury Prevention Strategies

The secret to avoiding a cricketing injury is to develop prevention strategies.

In short, these can relate to:

Your coach or physiotherapist will be able to provide you with generic team activities plus some specific individual advice to address your weaknesses or deficiencies.

Cricket Injury Prevention Program

TGFC1

Injury prevention is every player, parent, coach and physiotherapist’s goal. We have a prevention program range on offer to help reduce the risk of specific injuries; hamstring, shoulder, low back, ACL and other knee injuries. PhysioWorks has been asked to implement some of these programs under the support of senior coaches.

Cricket Australia Personal Injuries Insurance

Australian cricket players registered at mycricket.com.au are covered for personal injuries such as sports injuries while playing cricket.

Cricket Sports Insurance Policy Links

Medical Specialist Referrals

PhysioWorks works with Brisbane’s leading Sports Medicine Professionals, including Sports Physicians, Orthopaedic Surgeons and Radiology Clinics.

Please ask your physiotherapist for help if you need guidance in discussing your situation and arranging an appropriate and prompt referral to begin your rehabilitation.

Article by John Miller

Elite Sports Injury Management

You probably already know that a sports injury can affect not only your performance but also your lifestyle. The latest research continues to change sports injury management considerably.  Our challenge is to keep up to date with the latest research and put them to work for you.

How we treated you last year could vary significantly from how we treat you this year. The good news is that you can benefit considerably from our professional knowledge.

What Should You Do When You Suffer a Sports Injury?

Rest?

Rest from painful exercise or a movement is essential in the early injury stage. "No pain. No gain." does not apply in most cases.  The rule of thumb is - don't do anything that reproduces your pain for the initial two or three days.  After that, you need to get it moving, or other problems will develop.

Ice or Heat?

We usually recommend avoiding heat (and heat rubs) in the first 48 hours of injury. The heat encourages bleeding, which could be detrimental if used too early. In traumatic injuries, such as ligament sprains, muscle tears or bruising, ice should help reduce your pain and swelling.

Once the "heat" has come out of your injury, you can use heat packs. We recommend 20-minute applications a few times a day to increase the blood flow and hasten your healing rate. The heat will also help your muscles relax and ease your pain. If you're not sure what to do, please call us to discuss your situation specifically.

Should You Use a Compressive Bandage?

Yes. A compressive bandage will help to control swelling and bleeding in the first few days.  In most cases, the compressive dressing will also help support the injury as you lay down the new scar tissue. This early healing should help to reduce your pain. Some injuries will benefit from more rigid support, such as a brace or strapping tape. Would you please ask us if you are uncertain about what to do next?

Elevation?

Gravity will encourage swelling to settle at the lowest point.  Elevation of an injury in the first few days is beneficial, especially for ankle or hand injuries.  Think where your damage is and where your heart is. Try to rest your injury above your heart.

What Medication Should You Use?

Your Doctor or Pharmacist may recommend pain killers or an anti-inflammatory drug. It is best to seek professional advice as certain medications can interfere with other health conditions, especially asthmatics.

When Should You Commence Physio?

sports injury

In most cases, "the early bird gets the worm".  Researchers have found that the intervention of physiotherapy treatment within a few days has many benefits.  These include:

  • Relieving your pain quicker via joint mobility techniques, massage and electrotherapy
  • Improving your scar tissue using techniques to guide the direction it forms
  • Getting you back to sport or work quicker through faster healing rates
  • Loosening or strengthening of your injured region with individually prescribed exercises
  • Improving your performance when you return to sport - we'll detect and help you correct any biomechanical faults that may affect your technique or predispose you to injury.

What If You Do Nothing?

Research tells us that injuries left untreated take longer to heal and have lingering pain.  They are also more likely to recur and leave you with either joint stiffness or muscle weakness. It's important to remember that symptoms lasting longer than three months become habitual and are much harder to solve.  The sooner you get on top of your symptoms, the better your outcome.

What About Arthritis?

Previously injured joints can prematurely become arthritic through neglect. Generally, there are four main reasons why you develop arthritis:

  • An inappropriately treated previous injury (e.g. old joint or ligament sprains)
  • Poor joint positioning (biomechanical faults)
  • Stiff joints (lack of movement diminishes joint nutrition)
  • Loose joints (excessive sloppiness causes joint damage through poor control)

What About Your Return to Sport?

Your physiotherapist will guide you safely back to the level of sport at which you wish to participate.  If you need guidance, ask us.

What If You Need Surgery or X-rays?

Not only will your physio diagnose your sports injury and give you the "peace of mind" associated, but they'll also refer you elsewhere if that's what's best for you. Think about it. You could be suffering needlessly from a sports injury.  Would you please use our advice to guide you out of pain quicker? And for a lot longer.

If you have any questions regarding your sports injury (or any other condition), don't hesitate to get in touch with your physiotherapist to discuss. You'll find our friendly staff happy to point you in the right direction.

Article by John Miller

Common Youth Arm Injuries

youth sports injuries

Children's Arm Injuries

Children's and Adolescent injuries differ from adult injuries, mainly because the bones are still growing. The growth plates (physis) are cartilaginous (healthy connective tissue) areas of the bones from which the bones elongate or enlarge. Repetitive stress or sudden large forces can cause injury to these areas.

Throwers Elbow

Repetitive overhand throwing can injure a child' elbow. Throwing injuries in the elbow most commonly occur in baseball pitchers, but cricket also has an incidence level.  Any child who participates in repetitive overhand throwing can suffer throwers elbow.

The overhand throw creates stress on the growth areas. If repeatedly overloaded, overhand throwing of the immature elbow may result in excessive strain upon the elbow structures, such as ligaments, cartilage, and growth plates.

Medial Apophysitis ("Little Leaguer's Elbow")

Medial apophysitis is a common elbow problem sustained by active children. Medial apophysitis causes pain at the medial epicondyle on the inside of the elbow. The bone prominence, called the medial epicondyle, is at the end of the humerus bone and contains a growth plate called the medial apophysis. Muscles that control wrist motion attach to the medial epicondyle, and excessive overhand throwing can irritate and inflame the growth plate. Young tennis players can also suffer this injury.

Osteochondritis Dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans is a common source of lateral elbow pain. The immature bones of the elbow joint can compress from excessive overhand throwing. Small fragments of bone and cartilage may dislodge and potentially float within the joint. You may require surgery to remove the loose bodies.

The key to pain relief is active resting from the aggravating sport. If left untreated, throwing injuries in the elbow can become severe conditions. Depending upon the severity of a child's injury, they may require surgery. If a child's pain continues after a few days of complete rest, please seek the advice of your physiotherapist or doctor.

More info: Juvenile Osteochondritis Dissecans

Stress Reaction of Growth Plates (Physis)

Repetitive stress on a child's growth plate (physis) in the arms or legs, if ignored, can impair growth. It can also be painful.

Overuse stress reaction may lead to irregularity or widening of the growth plate. If you continue repetitive stress, the growth plate may become permanently damaged and could stop growing prematurely. This premature cessation could lead to a bone deformity.

Sports activities that may cause a stress reaction in growth plates include gymnastics and overhand throwing.

Gymnasts perform repetitive wrist activities that can lead to a stress reaction of the growth plate in the distal radius bone.

Young baseball pitchers apply forces across the upper arm bone in their shoulders during the overhand throw. They can damage their upper humerus (shoulder bone) growth plate. An abnormal growth plate in an X-ray of a child who participates in a high-risk sport requires an Orthopaedic assessment. They may require surgical treatment. Until assessed, they should stop the aggravating activity for at least 2 to 3 months unless your surgeon suggests otherwise.

For specific advice, please seek the professional opinion of your physiotherapist or doctor.

Common Youth & Teenager Sports Injuries

Common Youth Neck & Back Injuries

Common Youth Leg Injuries

Common Youth Arm Injuries

Common Stress Fracture Related Conditions

General Info

Spinal Stress Fractures

Lower Limb Stress Injuries