Ground reaction force, spinal kinematics and their relationship to lower back pain and injury in cricket fast bowling: a review

Billy Senington*, Raymond Y. Lee, Jonathan Mark Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background - Fast bowlers display a high risk of lower back injury and pain. Studies report factors that may increase this risk, however exact mechanisms remain unclear. 

Objective - To provide a contemporary analysis of literature, up to April 2016, regarding fast bowling, spinal kinematics, ground reaction force (GRF), lower back pain (LBP) and pathology. 

Method - Key terms including biomechanics, bowling, spine and injury were searched within MEDLINE, Google Scholar, SPORTDiscuss, Science Citation Index, OAIster, CINAHL, Academic Search Complete, Science Direct and Scopus. Following application of inclusion criteria, 56 studies (reduced from 140) were appraised for quality and pooled for further analysis. 

Results - Twelve times greater risk of lumbar injury was reported in bowlers displaying excessive shoulder counter-rotation (SCR), however SCR is a surrogate measure which may not describe actual spinal movement. Little is known about LBP specifically. Weighted averages of 5.8 ± 1.3 times body weight (BW) vertically and 3.2 ± 1.1 BW horizontally were calculated for peak GRF during fast bowling. No quantitative synthesis of kinematic data was possible due to heterogeneity of reported results. 

Conclusions - Fast bowling is highly injurious especially with excessive SCR. Studies adopted similar methodologies, constrained to laboratory settings. Future studies should focus on methods to determine biomechanics during live play.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-683
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • cricket fast bowling
  • injury
  • lower back pain

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