Back injuries & fast bowlers
Fast bowling back injuries are one of the great vexing issues in cricket. One of the first high profile 'breakdowns' in elite cricket was that of Dennis Lillee, who suffered lumbar spine stress fractures in 1972. And many other high profile cases have followed. Some are even starting to wonder if it is a "rite of passage" for high performance fast bowlers!
It is probably one of the most researched topics in the sport science sport medicine literature, so there are a number of factors that have been linked to these back injuries. Even so, it is tempting for young fast bowlers, their parents and their treating practitioners to try and target a single cause. If only it was that simple.
What we do know is the issue is multi-factorial, meaning that a number of factors often combine to cause pain and injury. Factors known to increase risk are poor physical condition, a workload that is not well structured, some biomechanical factors in the bowling action, growth and maturation. Sometimes one of these factors can be a leading cause, but often a number of them combine to lead to these painful and stressful injuries. Our "Back Injury Risk" analysis will reveal how much risk your bowling action actually presents for lower back injury.