Whether you are batting or bowling or fielding you are at risk of injuries while playing cricket. Round the year we witness lot of action in cricket, be it Test cricket or ODIs or T20 and as a result it has been taking toll on the cricketers due to continuous strain and stress. It becomes essential for cricketers to be extra vigilant and attentive by taking preventive steps to avoid injuries. Bruises, fractures, injuries to fingers and hand, lower back strain, side strains, upper body strain are the common type of injuries faced by the players, which can or cannot involve hospitalization depending on the intensity of the injury. List of common cricket injuries are:
Ankle injuries are very common form of injury which ruins any batsmen, bowler as well as fielder. Sprained ankle is the most common ankle injury. Ankle is likely to get twisted inwards in this type of injury which results in damage to the soft tissues and ligaments around the ankle leading to a painful swollen ankle. The damage to the ligaments and torn tissues leads in bleeding and could be enormously painful. Strapping or taping done by well trained physiotherapist is helpful in the case of ankle injury. One can also choose to wear an ankle brace in order to avoid any excessive strain on the ankle.
Hamstring pull or hamstring strain is one of the biggest issues faced by the cricketers. It is felt as a sudden sharp pain at the back of the thigh due to tear in muscle tissue which can happen due to fielding or during bowling or while taking a quick run as well. The hamstring pull is categorized based on the tear as first, second or third degree strain. A muscle that is less flexible is more prone to be injured. Muscles can be expected to get cramped, if someone is dehydrated. Individuals who have experienced hamstring injury in the past are at the maximum risk of future hamstring injuries. Treatment includes immediate first aid of rest, ice and compression followed by a full rehabilitation and exercise plan.
Lower Back Injuries
Lower back injuries are very commonly observed in bowlers especially fast bowlers. Strains of the side muscles, spinal stenosis and herniated discs are the lower back problems caused to the non bowling arm side of the body. Due to excessive bowling workload or technique faults, lumbar stress fractures are commonly observed among the fast bowlers. Core stability exercises can keep away back injuries. Shock absorbing insoles can facilitate in decreasing the stress on the back.
Sudden throwing of the ball or excessive bowling can lead to excessive strain on the shoulder which results into Rotator Cuff muscles injury. Partial tears may develop leading to a full blown tear to one or more Rotator Cuff muscles. One can also suffer from dislocated shoulder, frozen shoulder and shoulder separation. Doing a good warm up with stretching exercises is one of the preventive steps against this type of injury. Right bowling and throwing techniques can avoid strain on the shoulders. With the help of physiotherapist, one can take shoulder stabilization exercises as a precautionary step against this kind of injury.
To conclude, cricket injuries can be avoided by knowing and using the right technique for batting, bowling and fielding, correct warm-ups, cooling down and stretching exercises, adequately hydrated, frequent massages, proper diet, and wearing appropriate sports gears, preferably custom-fitted while on the field.
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Ravi Shet is the writer of this article and Co-founder of Treatum, an online healthcare portal connecting patients with right doctors.
Disclaimer: The entire content of this article is for information purpose only and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. It is not a substitute for professional care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem and disease.