As summer starts up, so does the cricket season. This means for a lot of players that old injuries get inflamed and other players get new injuries. Here are some of the common injuries that people get during cricket playing and how to prevent them.
Groin injuries are very common in cricket, especially as players often suddenly move from a stationary movement into explosive movements to catch or hit the ball. The underlying soft tissue, the hip flexors and abductors can be strained in these sudden movements. Stretching in a dynamic way can help to prevent these injuries. One stretch to try can be stepping forward and leaning down into a lunge position, then pressing the hip forward before you step back into a neutral standing position. It's important to swap legs to ensure that you evenly stretch both sides of the body. To stretch the abductors, you can stand with your feet in a wide pose and bend each leg down into a gentle stretch position, then swap to bending the opposite leg.
Shoulder injuries are common in bowlers and batters, as both roles involve working the shoulder in an asymmetric way. It can be just as common to get a repetitive shoulder injury during practise sessions as the continual practise of the same motion can be damaging. It can be a good idea to alternate specific drills with strength training and ensure that you stretch before and during practise sessions by pulling the arms across, then over the body.
Lower back pain
Many batter and fielders experience lower back pain at various points as they stand in the same position for long periods of time. Spending some time stretching and strengthening the back before the cricket game starts can help to prevent this issue. Fielders can also do some simple stretches during fielding, such as a spinal twist, to release some of the pressure on the spine after a long fielding session.
Some bowlers also experience lower back pain after they switch between the extreme extension and extreme compression of the spine during the bowling action. It is a good idea to get your bowling action reviewed regularly, especially if you are a fast or spin bowler, to ensure you are not placing excess strain on the back (or shoulders).
If, in spite of your stretching and preparations, you get a cricket injury it is a good idea to see a physio as soon as possible. They can use some strapping tape to support the injury to prevent more serious injuries in the short, as well as organise a treatment plan.