South African Journal of Sports Medicine

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Prevalence of cricket-related musculoskeletal pain among adolescent cricketers in KwaZulu-Natal

MH Noorbhai, FM Essack, SN Thwala, TJ Ellapen, JH van Heerden


Objectives. This study investigated the prevalence and nature of cricket-related musculoskeletal pain among male adolescent cricket players (n=234) residing in the Highway area of Durban over a 12-month period during all the seasons of the year.
Methods. Data were collected from five secondary schools. Subjects participation was dependent on voluntary and parental informed consent. Child assent forms were also provided for the schoolboy cricket players to complete. Participants were required to complete a self-reported questionnaire probing the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain within the last 12 months. The probability was set at p.0.05.
Results. A total of 188 subjects (80%) experienced cricket-related musculoskeletal pain (p<0.0001). The most common sites were the lower extremities (39%), followed by upper extremities (36%) and lower back (18%). The prevalence of cricket-related musculoskeletal pain specific to the various anatomical sites were mostly knee (30%) and lower back (29%), followed by shoulder (17%), ankle (13%) and thigh (11%). The predisposing mechanisms producing cricket-related musculoskeletal pain reported by the cricketers were direct physical trauma (83%) and over-use (17%) (p<0.0001).
Conclusion. Male adolescent recreational cricket players reported a high prevalence of cricket-related musculoskeletal pain. The knee was the most common anatomical site. Parents, guardians and coaches should pay specific caution to preliminary and extrinsic factors causing musculoskeletal pain in adolescent cricketers.
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