Monday, October 8, 2012

Cricket injuries and Prevention

We are a Cricket crazy nation and our cricketers are treated like gods. Cricket has been part of the Indian lifestyle since the inception of Cricket in 1700’s. Our cricketing rich tradition can boast of cricketing heroes since the 1970’s. Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni have all become household names. India won their first world cup in the 1980’s. In comparison, to the 1980’s a cricketer in today’s era has a tight season schedule.

A batsman can get hurt at the crease when he is facing bowlers bowling at a speed of about 140 km/h. A fielder can get hurt has he chases the ball towards the boundary. A bowler can suffer from injuries due to the repetitive stress that the body has to experience in a match. Injuries can occur by a direct hit of a moving ball, fielding injuries, getting hit by the bat and overuse injuries. These hazards have resulted in the players wearing protective gears to guard themselves.

Types of Injuries
Injuries can be categorized under the following parameters
Bone Injuries
A cricketer can suffer from a fracture that would require immobilization of the affected body part. In severe cases, a fracture may require surgical intervention. Stress fracture is another injury that can affect a cricketer, especially a bowler. They occur because of repetitive stress on the bones.
Joint Injuries
They normally include sprains and dislocations and are normally associated with fielders.
Muscle Injuries
They can be a muscle pull or strain and can be recovered by proper medical attention.
Injuries such as these can be experienced by both amateurs and professional cricketers. In such an event, the standard treatment of R.I.C.E is followed.
The first step in the R.I.C.E treatment is rest that requires a player to rest the injured body part. This would help in the relieving pain, under no circumstances the player is supposed to resume normal activity.
Ice acts as an analgesic and would slow down the metabolism around the injured area. This would help in reducing the swelling and fasten the process of recovery. Icing the injured body part by chemical cold bag or a bag of ice wrapped in towel would help. 15 minutes session of icing the injured area at hourly intervals can take place.
Compressing the injured area with elastic bandage would aid in recovery and help in reduced swelling.
Elevating the injured area above your heart level assists in reducing the fluid around the injury. This done on a frequent basis would assist in recovery.

If a player suffers from an injury there should be a rehabilitation program that would help in getting back the player to competition levels. Cricket is played at many levels in the country and one of the most important parameter to avoid any kind of injuries is prevention. One of the most important factors in preventing an injury is fitness or a conditioning programme that can be implemented before and during the season. Moreover, coaches and sport authorities need to identify the type of injuries that are sustained at different levels.  This would result in the necessary countermeasures that would improve the performance quality of the players. For instance, a bowlers workload could be controlled during the season giving the bowler adequate rest. Protective gear can be used at competitive and at grass root levels to reduce impact injuries. In the end, the important thing that matters is the safety of the players and make the game more enjoyable.

Frank Mapranny,
Training Head,

YFC Pvt.Ltd

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