3 Tips on cricket’s most common injury
With the cold weather disappearing and football coming to an end, the cricket season is just around the corner. Cricket is Australia’s oldest past-time – filled with hours in the sun, flies glued to your back, whites that never stay white, and the odd sore shoulder. Whether it be from a dive to save a four, striving to bowl that top speed yorker, or throwing one too many balls in from the boundary, shoulder pain happens.
And it can really inhibit your performance. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do that may reduce your risk of injury.
First, remember to ease into training at the start of the cricket season.
You probably haven’t picked up a ball for six months, so easing yourself back into training (whether it be bowling or throwing) is a really sensible idea. Throw a ball around in the backyard a couple of times a day leading into the season so the first serious training session back won’t be such a shock to the system.
Secondly, make sure you have good warm up and cool down programs.
For warm up, grab a broomstick or cricket bat and use it to gradually work your shoulders through their range of motion in circular patterns. (You will find some good videos on youtube under shoulder warm-ups: dislocations, wipers and bands). Make sure you only work your shoulders through a range of motion that is comfortable. That is, you should not feel any pain at all! Also, start getting some activation of the rotator cuff muscles with some gentle rotations with your arm up in the throwing position and you can use theraband or stretch bands too if you have them. Don’t forget to throw a few balls through a gradually increasing distance as a part of your warm up as well.
For cool down, make sure you stretch all the important shoulder muscles that are used during the game, including, but not limited to, your pecs, deltoids, upper traps, triceps and lats.
Finally, make sure you recover well.
Remember to replace the fluids and energy you lose during training and playing; rest and sleep well, and don’t be afraid to ice the shoulder pre-emptively after the first couple of sessions and games.
If you do experience shoulder pain, particularly if symptoms persist, or if there was a specific incident that caused your pain, come and chat to one of our friendly physiotherapists who can help. And talk some cricket.
For general warm-up ideas, check out these tips from Cricket Australia.