How to avoid cricket related injuries

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April 12, 2016

How to avoid cricket related injuries

Dear Readers,

Winston writes Check Up from Spanish Town, St Catherine. He is 37 years old and his game is cricket. He plays for the company he works for and he plays in his community whenever he has time. His new problem is back pain which he worries is going to limit his play.

He has also experienced other injuries to his hands from a cricket ball. He is concerned that cricket may cause him more physical injuries than he bargained for for a non-contact sport! He asks Check Up how to avoid cricket related injuries.

The most common injuries sustained through cricket are strains, sprains, fractures and open wounds which mainly affect the upper body, hands and fingers in particular. Although, in later years, several older cricketers also suffer with knee problems.

And as cricket is a long, hot game which can involve standing and running in the sun for long hours, players also have to prevent dehydration and sun stroke.

back tissues

Injuries to the face, fingers and hands are the most commonly treated injuries, followed by falls. Bowlers often suffer with "overuse" injuries to the back and shoulders and lower back pain is particularly prevalent among young fast bowlers.

The repetitive action of bowling for long periods of time puts the lower back tissues under tremendous stress! Hamstring injuries and side sprains also commonly occur due to repetitive sprinting and ball throwing.

To prevent injuries while playing cricket the player should:

• Wear the correct gear: Wear a cricket helmet with face guard for wicket keeping

• Wear mouth guard, body padding, gloves and leg pads, forearm guards while batting and wear shoes made for cricketers.

• Train properly

• Warm up and stretch before playing

• Cool down and stretch after the game

• Be properly hydrated by drinking water before, during and after play

• Remove hazards such as stones and water from the playing surface

• Ensure that the pitch is smooth

• Pace bowlers need to restrict the number of overs bowled during play depending on level of fitness.

• Know how to use equipment properly

• Wear a hat and use sun-screen

Cricketers are more susceptible to injuries than ever before and playing cricket ranks fifth among causes of non-fatal sporting accidents. The problem is often caused by the repetitive nature of this game combined with playing for long time periods which predisposes cricketers to injury. Statistics show that 49 per cent of cricket players will injure themselves at some point during the playing season. Injuries can be classified into three categories: direct impact, indirect impact and overuse.

muscles and tendons

Direct blow injuries occur when a player is struck by a ball or collides with another player. A batsman's feet are vulnerable to being hit by a ball and light weight shoes offer little protection.

Indirect injuries occur to muscles and tendons while performing a specific movement and tends to occur when warming-up activities are ignored.

The most common overuse injury is associated with fast bowling which involves repetitive twisting, extension and rotation of the trunk which leaves the player at risk of disc degeneration in the spine, stress fractures in the lower legs and painful muscle tears. Fingers are also traumatised by repetitive bowling actions and the resulting arthritis can end a player's career.

Write to:

Check Up,

PO BOX 1731,

KGN 8 or email:arnaj56@gmail.com

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