Side strains are common due to repeated intense ball throwing action.
It usually affects muscles when part of the muscle or the muscle attachment to the bone is pulled away or rapidly overstretched. We’ll suggest rest, gradual return to play or further investigation such as an MRI. Taping can also help to enhance healing and speed up recovery.
Strain healing takes between 4-6 weeks.
Lower back pain might result from a long time spent in the same, often asymmetric
position – back flexion/side flexion in batting players, leading to joints and ligaments overload as well as imbalances in muscles development on both sides.
For bowlers on the other hand, very fast movements with rapid change in back position from extension to flexion can put enormous strain on muscles or even lead to stress fractures.
Physiotherapists can assess risk factors for particular players by analysing individual movements or strategies in batting/throwing and not only help to recover but also work with coaches to improve the player’s position and technique to allow safe return to play.
Hamstring injuries are common in bowlers and field runners as those muscles play
A crucial role in pelvic control and back movements with fast bending as well as knee and hip stabilisation in braking from a fast run or quick change of direction.
Sometimes a gentle hamstring injury can lead to back problems if not picked up quickly. Physiotherapy helps to gradually strengthen the muscles to match the non-injured side and progress with specific field training to improve the player’s ability and confidence with acceleration, deceleration and changing directions.
Groin problems often occur due to repetitive movements of the bowler’s thigh moving quickly high across the trunk as well as fast acceleration with running and low crouching positions.
Physiotherapy’s role is to examine and determine the injured tissues. If the injury is muscle-related, rest and gradual hip flexors and abdominal muscles strengthening will help. There is also a possibility that pain comes from the hip joint and although this presents more of a challenge for therapists with an appropriate exercise prescription as well as manual treatment
Knee problems are not as frequent but are still common with cricketers. Most problems are associated with medial or anterior knee pain due to fast running and quick changing directions. Structures that can be injured are medial meniscus – part of a cartilage on the inside of knee joint, as well as patelo femoral problems – (knee cap) due to overload and patella tracking issues.
Physiotherapy can help prevent the injury by strengthening the hip extensors (glut muscles) and hamstrings to stabilise the knee or change imbalances in the quadriceps muscle strength to stabilise the knee cap in the centralised position. Sports specific training with a physiotherapist can also help players to control body position with changing the running speed and quick changing directions.
Shoulder: Throwing, and batting can produce large amounts of forces going through the upper arm and shoulder, overloading muscles and ligaments. Also, due to extensive use of one arm the muscle imbalances and fatigue can lead to strains or lack of stability resulting in rotator cuff problems.
Physiotherapy can help to loosen up tired muscles and stiff joints as well as create tailored strengthening and control programs to cope with that unilateral overloads and improve robustness of the dominant arm.
Elbows are under very heavy loads during the throwing action affecting mainly the medial ligaments with tears or repetitive strains similar to golfer’s elbow syndrome.
Physiotherapy can help by releasing muscle tension or providing strategies to offload the injured ligament.
Sometimes additional techniques like kinesio-taping or bracing might be used to reduce discomfort, speed up recovery and return to play.