Muscle injuries are common for people who exercise regularly and aim to improve their health status. Not all muscle injuries are bad, such as the soreness after a gym session, run or returning to activity you haven’t done for a while. There are times though when muscle pain is not pleasant, and it results in a pain that last for longer than normal and limits your ability to exercise and move. It is these types of injuries that need expert management.
Now midway through the cricket season and post the Christmas innings, our work at SecondOpinion.Physio continues to ensure people are able to remain active and healthy when playing cricket and their other chosen summer sports.
Most common cricket injuries are quads and hamstring muscle strains (1). That legendary West Australian bowler, Dennis Lillee came back from a horrible back injury in the seventies. This was a low back stress fracture (a.k.a. ‘stressie’). We know now that fast bowlers are more at risk this type of back injury and other injuries overall compared to the rest of the cricket eleven (2).
Research funded by Cricket Australia has demonstrated a link between sudden work load increases and injury risk (3). Doubling the workload in terms of bowling or effort compared to the players' average workload increased the risk of injury between 3.3-4.5 times.
An MRI scan study of fast bowlers and swimmers over a 2-4 year period identified that too much fast bowling was directly associated with bone stress, especially at the fourth lumber vertebra. For young bowlers (15-17 year olds), this involved the non-bowling arm side (3). Therefore timely treatment of the right kind is vital for the season and to prevent future problems.
This highlights the importance of gradual build up for anyone involved in exercise and sport-specific programmes. Developing the right muscle strength and technique is critical for ensuring bone and muscle health. If you have had a break over Christmas or are just starting your season, 'the reset button' on training is a good idea.
1. Engstrom, C. M. & Walker, D. G. (2006). Pars interarticularis stress lesions in the lumbar spine of cricket fast bowlers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,39(1),
2. Hulin, B. T., Gabbett, T. J., Blanch, P., Chapman, P., Bailey, D., Orchard, J. W. (2014). Spikes in acute workload are associated with increased injury risk in elite cricket fast bowlers. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48, 708-712.
3. Orchard, J., James, T., Kountouris, A., Blanch, P., Sims, K., & Orchard, J. (2011). Injury report 2011: Cricket Australia. Sport Health, 29(4), 16.
4. Ranson, C., Hurley, R., Rugless, L., Mansingh, A., & Cole, J. (2013). International cricket injury surveillance: a report of five teams competing in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. British journal of sports medicine, 47(10), 637-643.
Physiotherapy appointments are an integral part of the recovery and rehabilitation phase. This is where the vital “legwork” is done to set you on the course back to complete health. Perhaps your progress is ahead of schedule. However, it remains necessary to follow through with these critical meetings. What matters most after getting injured is the quality and completeness of your recovery. Yet, people are often tempted to bypass professional guidance and advice at the first positive sign of healing.
Three good reasons to stay the course of your physiotherapy appointments:
1. Each appointment has a vital purpose.
You must be fully involved in your recovery, so following the advice of a trained professional is plain common sense. Appointments are the time to learn injury specifics, explore new terminology and recovery tactics and ask pertinent follow-up questions. We follow expert advice for our automobile, our house and personal finances, so why not for our physical health?
Every situation is unique and the nature of your injury will determine appointment frequency and the content of each meeting. Your physiotherapist will discuss the injury and outline a roadmap to recovery during your first appointment. However, the real work goes beyond one meeting of good intentions.
2. Respecting your appointments means fewer appointments down the road.
Reputable physiotherapy practices are keen to keep the number of treatments and personal sessions for you to a minimum. They want to provide maximum value for your hard-earned money and optimise resources. It is in your best interest to self-manage your condition as soon as possible.
Respecting your physiotherapist’s ongoing assessment and treatment schedule and following through on exercise recommendations will minimise setbacks and ensure maximum recovery.
3. Personal one-on-ones add to recovery motivation and encourage positive lifestyle change.
Physiotherapy clinics are more than just places to recover from injury. They serve as an important support healthcare “hubs” that motivate you to become better, stronger and more agile than before.
Many people, perhaps a few in your immediate circle, not only recover from traumatic injuries, but feed off their physiotherapy experience to make significant lifestyle changes. There is no substitute for a strong personal relationship with a caring physiotherapist, someone who will coach and guide you towards better health. Before, during and especially after your immediate recovery.
Remember to contact your Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in Hampton on 9533 5305 to discuss any concerns you may have or to make an appointment.
Clinic director & Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist* in treatment for back, neck, headache and TMD (Jaw/Face) problems.
Luca graduated from a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with honours and has a background in personal training.