Cricketers are well known for their athleticism, talent, wit, cooking ability, and general good-lookingness. (Trust me, I’d know, I have played cricket for many years).
Unfortunately, among physiotherapists, cricketers are also known for their dodgy shoulders, especially if you are a fast bowler, because:
a) because you bowl fast; and
b) because you are often relegated to fine leg duties because that’s the best spot to hide you in the field, and this results in lots of long throws
Repetitive throwing and bowling can have detrimental effects on your shoulder joint, muscles and joint capsule. The large amount of force generated by powerful shoulder and arm muscles (up to 108% of bodyweight!!) to throw a small 155g ball can cause straining of the joint capsule, impaction of the joint surface, and injury or overuse of the rotator cuff muscles.
The only sure way to prevent cricketer’s shoulder entirely is to stop throwing the ball by becoming a wicket keeper or batting in the top order so you can stand in the slips all day. Unfortunately, wicket keeping is reserved for only the cream of the cricketing crop (ahem), and fast bowlers are generally too intelligent to open the batting, so the only real alternative is to quit cricket altogether, which would be sad for everyone involved.
The next best approach is to protect the shoulder joint and its surrounding muscles by using good technique, and maintaining sufficient muscle strength and control around your shoulder. Physiotherapy is a great option for improving muscle strength and control and there are several exercise protocols that are commonly prescribed by physios for these purposes.
So don’t give up cricket, and call LifeForce health solutions instead to see a physiotherapist for your cricketer’s shoulder. If you ask to see me, you’ll also get to chat about cricket (how good is Marnus?!)
Call 8289 2800 to make a physiotherapy appointment at LifeForce health solutions at Golden Grove, to see what one of our experienced and friendly physiotherapists can do to help with your sport-related condition. Alternatively, send us a message or comment on Facebook or via our website, and we’ll be in touch!
Kinsella, S., Thomas, S., Huffman, G. and Kelly, J. (2014). The Thrower’s Shoulder. Orthopedic Clinics of North America, 45(3), pp.387-401.
Jordan, D., (2020) Watching way too much cricket. My wife thinks I need help but it’s not an addiction, I’m fine.