Cricket Injuries

Hamstring strain

Causes of hamstring strains

Hamstring strains can be caused by a number of different activities in cricket; these include fast bowling, fielding and running between the wickets. Commonly, hamstring strains are caused by a sudden burst of movement or a quick change of direction. Cricketers are prone to hamstring strains because they may be required to sprint after a long period of standing relatively still. Bowlers may suffer from strains as a result of overuse, as the bowling action puts considerable pressure on the hamstrings and knees.

Symptoms of a hamstring strain

Serious strains usually involve an athlete pulling up suddenly; they will often be in a lot of pain. Minor strains may not reveal any symptoms until after the exercise session has finished. Other symptoms include swelling, bruising and a restricted range of movement.

Treatment for a hamstring strain

Minor strains will usually be treated with ice and anti-inflammatory medication; pain relief may also be prescribed. The affected leg should be rested until the injury has healed. More severe strains may take several weeks to heal and the athlete may have to undergo surgery if the muscle has been torn; following surgery crutches will usually be used to avoid the muscle bearing weight.

Preventing hamstring strains

Undertaking thorough warm-up and cool down sessions will reduce the risk of injury; in cricket, where a match can be played for hours at a time, it is important to keep the muscles warm and the joints loose; this can be achieved by doing exercises throughout the game. Resting between activities will also reduce the risk of injury; bowlers should have a break after a certain number of overs, for example.

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