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Phys Ther Sport. 2019 May;37:120-127. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2019.03.014. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

The cricketer's shoulder: Not a classic throwing shoulder.

Author information

1
Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address: megandutton@gmail.com.
2
Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Nursing, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Spain.
3
Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Division of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; IOC Research Centre, South Africa.
4
Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Cricket South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe the musculoskeletal adaptations inherent to the cricketers' shoulder and determine potential predictors of shoulder injury in elite South African cricketers.

DESIGN:

Prospective longitudinal cohort study; SETTING: Non-clinical, at national cricket indoor training venues.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred and six elite cricketers, representing 82% of the South African national and franchise teams, consent. A total of 105 cricketers (27 ± 4 years) were eligible for participation in this study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

A pre-season shoulder screening battery including a shoulder function questionnaire, two ultrasonographic shoulder measurements and 14 musculoskeletal tests including pain provocation, range of motion, strength and flexibility was assessed. Non-contact dominant shoulder injuries were documented throughout the 2016/2017 season.

RESULTS:

The musculoskeletal profile of a cricketer's shoulder is described. 17% (95%CI: 9-24%) of cricketers sustained an injury during the 2016/2017 season. Two of the 17 screening tests predicted seasonal dominant shoulder injury (p < 0.05): a dominant supraspinatus tendon thickness ≥5.85 mm (sensitivity: 72%, specificity: 63%) and non-dominant pectoralis minor length ≤12.85 cm (sensitivity: 83%, specificity: 55%).

CONCLUSION:

The musculoskeletal adaptations inherent to cricketing shoulders are distinctly different to the classic "thrower's shoulder" described in baseball. A thickened dominant supraspinatus tendon and a shortened non-dominant pectoralis minor muscle are risk factors for developing shoulder injury in this group. This identifies the need to investigate preventative strategies (strengthening/flexibility) and throwing workload management in cricketers with shoulder injury.

KEYWORDS:

Cricket; Musculoskeletal screening; Risk factors; Shoulder injury; Thrower's paradox

PMID:
30952080
DOI:
10.1016/j.ptsp.2019.03.014

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