Cricket and Sports Injuries
Cricket is a sport enjoyed by players of all levels of ability. It is a sport in which players engage in a wide range of diverse activities namely batting, bowling, fielding (catching and throwing) and wicket keeping. In cricket, the majority of injuries are of a noncontact nature. In the present day, this sport is played in test cricket, one-day and 20-20 formats. Whilst the nature of injuries varies in different formats, in general, injuries in cricket can be acute and chronic.
Shoulder - Fielding (throwing), bowling, batting can result in overuse shoulder injuries i.e. rotator cuff tendonitis/tear, biceps tendonitis/tear. Treatment depends on the specific condition; however, in the early stages, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physiotherapy may suffice. Arthroscopic Surgery may be indicated in advanced cases.
Hand - Most hand injuries are sustained while trying to catch the ball, which often strikes the end of the finger causing injury to the ligament or bone (fracture). Simple injuries recover with finger taping, splintage for a certain period but complex injuries may require surgery.
Side strains - commonly seen in bowlers is an injury to the lateral trunk muscles. Treatment involves modifying bowling technique, taping and a rehabilitation program aimed at pain relief, and recovery of mobility and strength.
Contusions - are caused by a direct impact to the muscle mostly likely from being struck by a ball. Swelling or bruising is common. Treatment involves rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy.
Hamstring strains - fast bowling involves many sudden, explosive movements and rapid changes of direction; these can result in hamstring strains. Physiotherapy involves gradual stretching exercises, strength training. Rarely surgery may be required to repair the torn muscle. The most common sequel to hamstring injury is recurrence of the same injury. If the sports person resumes the sport before healing is complete, a re-tear may occur.
Knee - cartilage (meniscus), ligament (ACL) tears occurs more often in bowlers and is caused by twisting or turning, often on a fixed foot, such as when a shoe stud catches in the turf or when sliding or landing awkwardly. The injury can either be a strain, or in extreme cases, a tear. The first line of treatment includes rest, ice and elevation followed by physiotherapy, which should include stretching and strengthening exercises. Arthroscopic Surgery is indicated for severe cases.
Ankle - sprains occur whilst sprinting, jumping. Treatment involves rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy and surgery in extreme cases with repeated ankle laxity.
Elbow - Improper batting and bowling techniques as well as inappropriate equipment, such as bats that are too heavy, put unnecessary strain on the elbow, causing tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. This injury is managed using elbow brace, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
Back - Fast bowlers have a high incidence of serious lumbar spine injuries i.e. spondylolysis, stress fracture. Hereditary factors, incorrect bowling technique, poor preparation and overuse (repetitive stress) all play a part. Complete rest from the sport, Physiotherapy i.e. strengthening, core exercises along with subtle modifications in the bowling action may help to reduce the stresses on the vertebrae.
Foot & Ankle - impingement, bone spurs are overuse injuries is seen in bowlers from stresses resulting form repeated foot positions. Management techniques include strengthening to allow controlled landing of the foot and assessing the bowling biomechanics to prevent poor landing mechanics. Surgery may be required to reduce impingement on tissue by bone or to release a restricted tendon.
Stress fractures - Shin, foot especially in bowlers. Treatment includes rest, calcium supplements and plaster immobilization.