Sports medicine : Cricket injury? Try RICE treatment

Sports medicine : Cricket injury? Try RICE treatment
Highlights

Injuries can occur at any phase of the game - bowling, batting or fielding and can involve any part of the...

Injuries can occur at any phase of the game - bowling, batting or fielding and can involve any part of the body. However, the four-pronged approach of Rest, Ice Pack, Compression and Elevation can help heal fast

dr ajay singh thakurLike in any other game, injuries are common among cricketers. Professional cricketers are expected to train harder, longer and earlier in life which expose them to a variety of acute and overuse injuries. And with the changing format of the game, injuries related to overload and stress are becoming common. Infact, cricket has now become synonymous with injury. These injuries can occur at any phase of the game- bowling, batting or fielding and can involve any part of the body.Here's a look at the most common types of injuries encountered in cricketers on the field and during practice.

Head, eye and finger injuries: Despite the presence of protective equipment, injuries to head and eyes are common in batsmen and close-in fielders. Finger injuries happen very frequently in fielders, wicket keepers and bowlers.

Hamstring Sprains: Muscle injuries, especially to hamstrings, can be very disabling and occur while running between the wickets and bowling.

Shoulder Rotator cuff tears: Bowlers and batsmen are prone to severe injuries in shoulder rotator cuff due to large amounts of forces generated due to repetitive use of the shoulder joint.

Knee Ligament tears: Twisting injuries to the knee while cutting and pivoting activities causes tears in knee ligaments resulting in meniscal tears and instability.

Lower Backache: Fast bowlers suffer from overuse injury to spine in the form of spondylosis and spondylolisthesis. Tennis Elbow: Repetitive swinging of bat puts lots of strain in elbow muscles leading to chronic inflammation and tendinitis.

Dehydration: Cricket is usually played in summer and can lead to fluid loss and heat exhaustion and dehydration. If an athlete over-trains, they may show one or more of the following symptoms: * Underperformance * Depression with loss of motivation * Increased anxiety and irritability * Sleep disturbance * Loss of appetite and weight * Tiredness, heavy feeling muscles * Frequent minor infections, particularly respiratory infections * Raised resting pulse rate

What should you do if you're injured?

A useful acronym that may help when an athlete is initially injured is: 'RICE'

Rest: Rest for 48-72 hours is usually a good initial treatment strategy. Avoid applying heat or soaking in a bath at this stage as this may make things worse.

Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injury as soon as possible. Protect the skin by wrapping the ice pack in a plastic bag and a damp towel and apply the pack for about ten minutes and repeat every two hours.

Compression: Compression is important to help reduce swelling.

Elevation: Try to elevate the injured part whenever possible- ideally elevate it above the level of the heart.

How to prevent the injuries

According to a survey almost 50% of all cricketers injure themselves at some point of the season. Here are some general tips to prevent injuries. * Warm up and cool down properly, before and after activity * Do not increase your training program or activity 'too early' and 'too much' * Adopt a good technique to prevent rotational stresses on the back * Proper stretching and conditioning is of great help * Work on the 'core' muscles which increases stability * Do not over-train and follow the recommended activity schedule * Regular intake of fluids will prevent dehydration and heat stroke * Accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of an injury is important for safe and early return to the sport. * Pain is a protective sensation, do not ignore it. Look out for injuries and treat them early

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