Groin and Hip Injuries : Cricket Injuries

The groin and hip are connected with hip-abductor muscles that control movement of the thigh to the centre of the body and to stabilise the hip during sports. Cricket players use these muscles extensively when batting, bowling, leaping and running, and can injure either the muscle by pulling or tearing the tendon (groin strain), or incur a fracture to the hip bone.

Symptoms of Groin and Hip Injuries

A pulled groin muscle will cause a sudden striking pain in the groin, and the cricket player may slow or have to stop moving immediately. The area will feel sensitive and sore to touch and will gradually swell with inflammation and sometimes bruising. A fracture to the hip bone will cause a player intense pain that can be sudden on one side of the hip and increase with time, especially at night when lying down. There will be protrusion of the bone with swelling and bruising at the site of fracture and the player will have difficulty trying to move.

Causes of Groin and Hip Injuries

Groin strains are caused by overuse of the muscles or from overstretching, not warming up enough before playing cricket, poor diet and dehydration that can stiffen muscles, insufficient rests during and between cricket sessions, sudden vigorous movement like forcefully hitting the cricket ball or jumping to catch the ball, and weak exercise technique. Fractures to the hip bone can be caused by falling when leaping to catch the ball, or being hit by an accelerating cricket ball. A stress fracture can be caused from insufficient rest or improper exercise technique when batting or bowling repetitively. Prior injuries to the hip and groin site, illness, or diet can also weaken bones.

Medical Treatment of Groin and Hip Injuries

A player with groin strain should immediately stop playing cricket, rest, and apply ice to the pulled groin muscle. Therapeutic massage and anti-inflammatory drugs or gels may help to reduce pain, swelling and bruising over time. If persistent or serious, the injury should be examined by a medical doctor to determine extent of pull, possible tear to the tendon, rupture of the tendon, or suspected bone fracture.

A first degree pull with minor bruising should heal within a week, but a second degree groin strain is a bruised hip bone and some stretched or torn muscle tendon fibre that will require medical attention. A third degree groin pull is a ruptured muscle in the groin to hip area. A physician will refer the player with torn or ruptured tendon, or a bone fracture, for an X-ray, CAT or MRI scan to determine extent of damage and further treatments to heal the groin or hip injury. In some cases, physical therapy with a physiotherapist may be the solution, but if severe, surgery with physiotherapy after-treatment may be recommended.

Preventing Groin and Hip Injuries

Warming up before cricket, consuming enough fluids and recommended diet, groin and hip muscle strengthening exercises, such as groin and hamstring stretches and inward leg presses, and wearing groin protection gear are ways to combat injuries to the groin and hip. Taking advice from trained cricket professionals to devise a tailored exercise regimen that includes sufficient rests is advisable.

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