With summer around the corner this is the time of the year we start to see more and more cricket injuries at Blackburn Osteopathy. Cricket places quite varied stresses on the body in the game and the injuries we see reflect this.

Low back pain is a frequently seen injury from cricket and in particular from fast bowlers. Stress fractures can be the cause of this pain and it is often due to overloading of the spine during the delivery stride of bowling. Several strategies to avoid this injury include gradually increasing the amount of balls bowled in the beginning of the season, not exceeding the Cricket Australia recommended guidelines about the amount of balls bowled and having a side on or straight on rear foot in the delivery stride. Surgery is very rarely required for these injuries and conservative management (such as that provided by an osteopath) is recommended.

Shoulder injuries are seen in both bowlers and fielders. Most commonly the shoulder pain will be due to a rotator cuff injury. During the actions of bowling and throwing the rotator cuff is placed under great load and these actions are repeated often. We see both traumatic and overload type injuries to the rotator cuff. Shoulder strength and mobility conditioning training particularly early in the season or preseason will help avoid both the traumatic and overload injuries.

Side strains are a relatively unique injury seen in fast bowlers. This injury involves straining the intercostal muscles of the opposite side to the bowling arm. As with low back injuries in bowling, the best way to minimise the risk of this injury is to gradually increase bowling loads early in the season and not exceeding the recommended loads. Maintaining good mobility of the spine and rib cage will also help avoid this injury.

Other injuries which are common in cricket involve impacts from the ball. Wearing appropriate protective equipment is the best way to minimise the risk of these impact injuries.

Whether it be advice on prevention or treating and managing cricket injuries, the osteopaths at Blackburn Osteopathy have great experience in treating both senior and junior cricketers.