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Cricket Injuries – Common Problems, Risks, Steps to Take and Treatment | health news


Cricket is a religion in India and there is hardly a person who has not picked up a bat-ball as a child. While not everyone can be a Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma or Harmanpreet Kaur, and you may not go to domestic cricket or the IPL, many people play cricket at small club level, district level or take part in corporate tournaments. Cricket, like any other sport, carries the risk of injury. Dr Sanesh Tuteja, Consultant-Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, shares his insights on some common cricket-related injuries, preventative strategies and when to seek medical advice.

Common Cricket Injuries – A List

So what can be common injuries while playing cricket? Dr. Sanesh Tuteja shares that cricket involves a combination of different activities, putting different parts of the body at risk. Some common cricket injuries, according to Dr. Tuteja, include:

1. Muscle strains and tears: Muscle strains or tears, especially in the hamstrings and calves, are common due to sudden bursts of intense activity. They are more common in bowlers but can also occur while batting or fielding.

2. Ankle Sprain: Rolling or twisting of the ankle while running or fielding can cause the ligament to sprain or sometimes tear.

3. Shoulder Injury: Bowlers and fielders are more susceptible to this injury. These include rotator cuff tears, dislocations, or damage to the bicep-labral complex called SLAP tears. These tend to occur due to repetitive throws and bowling speed.

4. Hand and Finger Injuries: Fractures or dislocations of the fingers result from impact with the ball or the ground. They are more common and intense among wicketkeepers.

5. Back injury: Repeated bending, bending, and jumping can cause back strains or stress fractures. Vertebral stress fractures are notorious injuries that are common and potentially career-threatening among fast bowlers, often requiring surgical fixation.

Steps to prevent cricket-related injuries

Although some injuries may not be preventable, following the steps below can effectively reduce your risk of these injuries occurring, says Dr. Tuteja:

1. Proper Warm Up: Always start with a thorough warm-up session combining jogging and stretching exercises.

2. Strength and Conditioning: Regular exercise and targeted training build strength and flexibility.

3. Correct Technique: Like any other sport, mastering the right technique for batting, bowling and fielding helps reduce stress on the body. This is most important for a fast bowler, where one faulty action can lead to many career-shortening injuries.

4. Protective Gear: Wear appropriate protective gear, such as helmets, pads, gloves, arm guards and shoes, to help reduce injury.

5. Rest and Recovery: Allowing adequate rest and recovery between matches and training sessions helps prevent overuse injuries. Also, ice baths to enhance healing and to improve transition time between games have also become very popular among cricketers.

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What to do and when to see a doctor

Despite preventive measures, injuries can occur during any sport, including cricket. Knowing how to deal with them and, more importantly, when to seek medical advice is helpful, says Dr Tuteja. Here are some general guidelines given by doctors:

1. Head injury: These can be potentially fatal, and it is essential to seek professional help immediately to diagnose and manage severe damage. This is also important, as a hit can easily be missed.

2. Immediate First Aid: For minor injuries such as bruises, strains or sprains, follow the RICE method – rest, ice, compression and elevation – to reduce pain and swelling.

3. Chronic pain or severe injury: If the pain persists or the injury seems severe, it is recommended to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

4. Rehabilitation: Returning to sport from injury is a long-term process, and regular engagement with a physiotherapist is essential to optimize conditioning and regain strength.

How is the injury treated?

“Treatment depends on the type and severity of the injury. While most injuries can be managed with rest, medication and immobilization, some are more complex, requiring intervention,” says Dr. Tuteja. Options, doctors say, include:

1. Medicines: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or pain medications may be recommended by your doctor to control pain and inflammation.

2. Bracing or Splinting: In many cases, braces or protective splints can be used to temporarily immobilize and support the injured area.

3. Surgery: In severe injuries, surgical intervention may be required to repair damaged tissue or joints.

4. Physiotherapy: Rehabilitation exercises and therapies can help restore strength, mobility, and flexibility after an injury. They can help prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence or further damage.

“Remember to warm up, focus on technique and form, wear appropriate protective gear, and maintain hydration and nutrition. Don’t play with pain, and consult a health care professional if pain is severe or prolonged. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy can reduce the risk of injury when playing sports,” says Dr. Tuteja.

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