Affiliations: [a] Mardyke Arena UCC, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland | [b] English Institute of Sport/Loughborough Performance Centre, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
Corresponding author: James Peckitt, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist/Practice Manager, Mardyke Arena Clinic,
Mardyke Arena UCC, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Shoulder injury is common in cricketers, with disorders of the upper-limb accounting for up to one fifth of the total number of injuries in modern-day cricket. Pain and cross-season loss of range of motion of the dominant side have been demonstrated in over-head throwing athletes, but only limited data exists concerning cricketers. We aimed to inform injury prevention and management strategies by determining whether elite cricketers demonstrated altered shoulder range or strength, and whether this related to pain presentation, across a competitive period. METHODS:Eighteen male professional county cricket players (mean±SD) aged 24.0±4.3 years, 1.8±0.1m height, and 83.6±7.7kg body mass underwent shoulder range-of-movement (ROM), strength, and pain assessment using the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) Shoulder and Elbow score on two separate occasions at least 12 weeks apart (13.2±1.0), over the course of a competitive season. RESULTS:One third of all players tested reported playing with shoulder pain at some stage during season. Both dominant (20°±11.8°) and non-dominant (14°±14.7°) throwing arm Total Arc ROM increased between testing intervals (p≤0.01), with significant concomitant increases in player external rotation (ER) ROM of both dominant (11.6°±8.4°) and non-dominant (8.8°±6.4°) throwing arms (p≤0.01). The dominant shoulders of prospectively injured players demonstrated a reduction in ROM (mean Total Arc ROM difference of -17.3°±6.2° vs -0.6°±11.8°), and lower dominant ER:IR strength ratios mean ER 0.71±0.13 vs IR 0.93±0.21) at baseline testing compared to non-injured players. ER strength decreased in both arms (p≤0.01), while ER:IR DOM strength ratios were significantly lower than at pre-season (mean loss of 16–18±21N/0.2±0.25 ER MVIC NBW per side, p≤0.05). CONCLUSION:Professional county cricket players exhibit increases in shoulder ROM and decreases in dominant throwing arm strength ratios across a competitive Cricket season. Pre-season differences in dominant vs non-dominant shoulder ROM and dominant throwing arm shoulder strength ratios appear to be associated with prospective onset of in-season shoulder trouble in the professional cricketers studied.