Sports Screening:Cricket

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Original Editor - Wanda van Niekerk

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Introduction

Cricket is played in many countries all over the world. It is a sport played by males and in recent years females, of all ages. Injury prevalence in cricket ranges from 4% to 12.8%. (Frost and Chalmers). The incidence of injury is determined at 23.5 to 90 injuries per 10 000 hours of exposure (Orchard et al 2016). Cricketers mainly sustain non-contact injuries to the lumbar spine (1.1 - 3.4 injuries per squad per season) and the lower limb (0.3 - 5.9 injuries per squad per season (Orchard, 2006).

In recent years, injury prevention programmes have been designed with the aim of modifying risk factors in order to prevent injury (Bahr 2016). Injury prevention research is systematically approached by following six stages:Finch 2006

  1. Injury surveillance
  2. Determine aetiology and mechanisms of injury
  3. Development of injury prevention measures
  4. Scientific evaluation (intervention efficacy assessment under "ideal conditions")
  5. Describe the intervention context to inform implementation strategies
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the preventative measures in the implementation context

The pre-participatory screening is part of stage 2 and helps to determine the aetiology and mechanism of the injury. (Olivier and Gray). In cricket, the pre-participatory screening of players helps with early identification of intrinsic risk factors. Furthermore, it contributes to the global approach to injury prevention in sports (Olivier and Gray, 2018)

Physiotherapists use a series of musculoskeletal tests as part of the pre-participatory screening tool. These musculoskeletal tests are used to identify intrinsic risk factors. These screening tests assess a wide variety of factors, such as:

  • the assessment of physical performance and movement (e.g. Star Excursion Balance Test)
  • movement quality (e.g. single leg squat)(Whittaker 2017)
  • flexibility (e.g. joint range of movement)
  • muscle strength (calf heel raises)(Dennis 2008)
  • pain provocation (single legged extension test (Crewe et al 2012)

The majority of variables assessed in these screening tools are of modifiable nature (Bahr, Olivier and Gray). The main aim of screening tools are to identify injury risk factors, this will lead to the development of an early injury prevention programme. These injury prevention programmes can be adapted and individualised to the needs of the specific athlete. It is important to note that there is limited research on the effectiveness of injury prevention programmes. (Bahr 2016)

See also:

The following tests are used in the literature as part of screening tools for cricketers.

Postural Assessment

In athletes postural assessment is key, because of the inter-relationship between the lower quarter, trunk and core musculature and the upper quarter.[1]. Although the postural assessment as part of the screening process is subjective, there are evidence of correlations between injury and posture.[2] Abnormal postures can influence muscle function.[1]

Postural Assessment

See also:

Posture

Leg Length Discrepency (LLD)

See: Leg Length Discrepancy

Flexibility

Lower back flexibility

  • Lumbar spine extension
  • Stork test
  • Forward segmental lumbar flexion

Neural provocation tests

Scapulae muscle function

Stability and Strength

Abdominal muscle strength

  • Upper abdominal strength
  • Lower abdominal strength

Knee

  • Dynamic lunge
  • One legged squat (incline)

Proprioception

Resources

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kolt GS, Snyder-Mackler L. Physical Therapies in Sport and Exercise. 2nd ED. Edinburgh. Churchill Livingstone. Elsevier. 2007
  2. Toivo K, Kannus P, Kokko S, et al Musculoskeletal examination in young athletes and non-athletes: the Finnish Health Promoting Sports Club (FHPSC) study BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2018;4:e000376.