Cricket is one of the most popular sports around the world, especially in India and Australia. Given the nature of the game, many players risk injuring different parts of the body if they do not take the right steps to condition their bodies and play well. Here are a few injuries common with cricket players and how to avoid them.
Most cricket movements make use of the lower back for stability. The repetitive bowling action causes lots of twisting on the lumbar region. Besides, bending and standing for long periods puts stress on the back. Any part of the lower back can be affected; facet joints, muscles, ligaments, or discs. You should monitor bowling practice to avoid being overloaded. Core stability exercises are also important for the back. Finally, shoes should have good cushioning to reduce stress on the back.
A hamstring injury is a tear of the hamstring muscle. Hamstring strains account for a whopping 15% of all injuries in the game. These injuries occur due to explosive sprinting activities such as taking a quick single, fielding a ball and bowling. These activities may cause a sudden strain on the hamstring muscle, which causes an overload and tears the tissue. The tear may be classified as first second and third-degree depending on severity. You can prevent hamstring injuries by having a good warm-up of at least 10-15 minutes before a game. You should also keep a log of the workloads to help prevent overloading the hamstring muscles.
Shoulder pain results from repeated actions that include bowling and throwing. There are small stabilising tissues found around each shoulder joint that may be damaged due to overuse during the game. These rotator cuff muscles start as tendon irritations before transforming to partial tears in the cuff. If no action is taken, the injuries may turn into complete tears.
During training, you should train for flexibility, endurance and stability of their shoulder muscles. You should do shoulder strengthening exercises under supervision from a competent therapist. You should learn the correct bowling and throwing technique. Increases in the amount of competition or training should also be gradual to avoid muscle overload.
Sprained ankles are common in training and actual gameplay. The sprain involves damage to soft tissues and ligaments due to an awkward twisting of the ankle joint. These soft tissues bleed within the tissue leading to an extremely swollen and painful joint. You should consider warm-up exercises that include ankle joint activation drills. This helps increase the blood flow around the joints, which, in turn, allows the muscle to move more freely and enhance balance. Where the ankle joint is weak, you can use tape or ankle braces to help support the joints.