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Cricket and Back Pain

Cricket and Back Pain

One of the most prevalent conditions among cricket players is pain in their lower backs. Based on research, up to 60% of the younger fast bowlers have higher incidences of back injuries due to a combination of one or more of the following:

1.) Insufficient physical and physiological conditioning

2.) Minimized bone density caused by a ‘growth spurt’

3.) Poor posture

4.) Biomechanical factors related to sports technique

5.) Sudden increase in the rate and frequency of training

6.) Time intervals of bowling spells during matches

7.) Repetitive movement relative to the sport

The most common injury that occurs in cricket is stress fracture of the lumbar spine. An inordinate amount of stress on the vertebral region called the ‘Pars Interarticularis’ can cause stress fractures, and the excessive back bending (spinal hyperextension), coupled with rotation and side flexion at the waist during fast bowling is one of the main culprits.

The following cricket players are particularly vulnerable to sports injuries:

1.) Wicket Keeper – without the proper conditioning exercises, this player is prone to stretched ligaments that can cause balance instability.

2.) Batsmen – remaining at the crease for extended periods can cause shortened flexor muscles at the front of the spine, leading to chronic back pain.

3.) Fast Bowler – normally cricketers feet and ankles are placed under enormous stress while releasing the ball, and exerting enormous body force to control the follow through.

4.) Spin Bowler – stress placed on the wrist, fingers, elbows and shoulders can result in arthritic pain, particularly during cold weather.

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