What is lower back pain in cricket?
Low back pain in fast bowlers is typically described as a dull constant ache on one side of the low back. The pain is usually opposite to the bowling arm. Pain may radiate into the buttock and the hamstring and rarely involves pain below the knee or tingling in the feet. These injuries tend to occur on the non-bowling arm side of the lower back. They are typically due to technique errors (such as a 'mixed bowling action' or excessive 'counter rotation') and/or excessive bowling workloads. Physiotherapy is beneficial in the rehabilitation of lower back injuries related to cricket.
What does the research says?
MOST OF THE RESEARCH ON BACK PAIN due to BOWLING TECHNIQUES is done IN Australia and Studies have shown that a high bowling workload increased the subsequent risk of sustaining an injury 1, 3 or 4 weeks later.
This is especially true if the workload suddenly increased from a lower one. Start slowly and gradually increase your bowling workload as the season progresses. Be sure not to jump right back into what you were doing last season! Moreover, it has been shown that fast bowlers who bowl more than 50 balls per day, more than 2.5 days per week, are at an increased risk of spinal injury. Injuries are less likely to occur if you have at least 3.5 days of rest between bowling sessions.
"Time is not a cure for chronic pain, but it can be crucial for improvement. It takes time to change, to recover, and to make progress." —Dr. Mel Pohl, A Day Without Pain
How to prevent Back Injury caused by bowling?
The most common reason for bowling-related back pain is excessive use of the lower spinal section and lower back, due to repetitive STRAIN caused by bowling action. The primary aim to reduce repetitive strain is to increase the flexibility of your body accordingly to reduce the strain arising out on the lower back. Hip, Knee and ankle mobility and flexibility play an important role in the prevention of Injury. Rotational injuries of the lower back can be prevented by strengthening and increasing the flexibility of the upper back and thoracic spine. To increase the flexibility of the upper back yoga and body stretches will help to reduce the strain on the back. Thoracic Spine Mobility
How do I get rid of back pain after bowling?
Heat or Ice. Applying a cold ice pack or heating pad to the lower back can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and increase mobility in athletes. Ice packs should be applied to the lower back several times a day for at least 20 minutes to see beneficial results.
Where should I Limit my Bowling?
According to Cricket Australia Junior cricket policy the bowling workloads should not exceed the figures in the table below as per age group. A calculated balance between the recovery period and training sessions is important while gearing for a cricketing season.
Bowling volume targets = how many balls bowled in a given period (e.g. balls per week) Under 15yrs: 90-100 balls per week Under 16/17yrs: 110-120 balls per week Under 19 yrs: Approximately 120 balls per week
To reduce the risk of bowling induced injury
Gradual bowling preparation 8-10 weeks leading into the season Target balls 100-120 (U17) or 120-140 (U19) per week in month before the season/tournament
At least 1 day off between bowling sessions (U17);
max 2 days of training in a row (U19)
1 easy bowling week every 4 weeks Plan recovery around high load periods (e.g., tournament)
When should I Stop bowling and Visit a spine specialist or spine surgeon?
You should visit a spine surgeon or orthopedic surgeon near you if you start developing pain and numbness in lower limbs, weakness and tingling in legs and calves,or chronic dull aching pain across the day. If your morning are associated with stiff back for more than 45 min even if you do warmup and stretching exercises. Its a medical emergency If you develop weakness in legs or foot drop, loss of control of urine and micturition senses. In summary, make sure the upcoming fast bowler makes the most of the upcoming cricket season:
Ensure that he/she uses the correct technique
Increasing your bowling workload slowly is the best way to avoid burnout.
Look after the rest of their body and keep the thorax, hip and ankle joints mobile. Perform spinal conditioning exercises regularly as you progress in cricketing season or train for the One day Match
To maintain their fast bowling prowess, they must maintain their core stability.
Above Data Is Compiled FOR KNOWLEDGE PURPOSE ONLY AND NOT A MEDICAL ADVICE
Dr Om Patil MBBS, MS Orth, A fellowship-trained Endoscopic Spine Surgeon Consultant Endoscopic Spine Surgeon in Mumbai Practicing in Dadar, Sion Bandra, Khar and Chembur