A longitudinal study on the effectiveness of injury prevention strategies on injury epidemiology of the elite cricket player
The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an injury prevention and training programme for elite cricketers in regard to biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric variables over a period of six cricketing off-seasons (1998/1999-2003/2004). A secondary aim was to investigate the injury epidemiology of elite cricket players over a six-season period (1998/1999 – 2003/2004). A total of 93 cricket players, who were part of the North-West professional cricket squad, were evaluated over a six-season period stretching from the 1998/1999 cricket season to 2003/2004 cricket season. The players were all evaluated at the end of the off-season (middle September) of the commencing season and the injury lists were compiled throughout each playing season. This included all players who needed medical attention due to injury sustained while representing the North-West cricket team in a cricket match. An analysis was done of literature sources by making use of electronic media, library search and sports medicine journals. Databases such as Pubmed, EbscoHost (Academic Search Elite), Sciencedirect, Medline, Eric, Health Source - Consumer Edition, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition and SPORTDiscus were used. Special consideration was given to cricket injury epidemiology, injury prevention strategies in cricket, biomechanics in cricket and general injury prevention strategies. The recorded data were statistically processed and the practical significances were calculated. Three different protocols were followed to evaluate the effectiveness of the injury prevention and training programme. The recorded data were analysed for the six off-season periods (1998/1999-2003/2004, protocol 1) of the study for the biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric evaluations, as well as for the injury epidemiology. The players were then divided into four exposure times (protocol 2) in the study for the biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric evaluations. Then the players were divided into two groups (protocol 3), with each group consisting of the same players, and over a three off-season period each evaluated for the biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric variables. Lastly, the results for the last three seasons of protocol 1 were compared with the result of the last three seasons of protocol 3 (group 2) for the biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric evaluations, as well as for the injury epidemiology. The results for this study indicate that the injury prevention and training programme was successful in improving and maintaining the biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric profile of the cricketers over the six off-season periods (1998/1999-2003/2004). Although all injuries could not be prevented, injuries resulting from structural vulnerability did decrease. Injuries resulting from structural vulnerability (mechanism of injury) decreased from the 1998/1999 season (67,67% of the total injuries suffered during the 1998/1999 season) to the 2003/2004 season (10% of the total injuries suffered during the 2003/2004 season), indicating that the training and prevention programme played a role in the prevention of these injuries. Injury incidence per 10 000 hours of play was 5,82 injuries for the six-season period (1998/1999- 2003/2004). The injury prevention and training programme used in this study can be utilised to improve the biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric profile of cricketers. The biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric evaluations can also be used as injury prevention strategies by identifying possible injury risk factors as a result of poor biomechanical, physical and motor and anthropometric profiles.
- Education