INJURIES IN AUSTRALIAN FEMALE CRICKETERS AND THEIR TREATMENT SOURCES: AN ANALYSIS OF SELF-REPORTED SURVEY DATA FROM 2014–15 SEASON

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Abstract

Background

Cricket is a sport with increasing popularity among women. Most studies examining injury in cricket include only men. In other sports, the types of injuries experienced by men and women are known to be different.

Objective

To present a profile of self-reported injuries among Australian female cricketers during 2014–15 season.

Design

Cross-sectional survey.

Setting

Community to elite level Australian Cricket.

Participants

Women who were aged 16+years and registered to play senior cricket (ranging from grade to international level).

Main Outcome Measurements

Incidence, nature, anatomical location of injuries and their treatment sources.

Results

Of 164 survey respondents (mean age 23.7 years) 43.6% played cricket as all-rounders. 109 players reported being injured; 18% (n=20) sustained ≥3 injuries. Distal lower limb (23%, n=26) and head, neck and spine (22%, n=5) were the most frequently injured locations. The nature of injuries included 30.4% (n=35) muscle injuries; 27.8% (n=32) joint or ligament injuries and 21.7% (n=25) gradual onset/overuse injuries. The majority of injured respondents (43%, n=52) reported receiving treatment from an allied health professional; 29.2% (n=35) opted for self-treatment and 12.5% (n=15) did not seek any treatment.

Conclusions

This is the first national survey of injuries in female cricketers in Australia. Compared to previous injury figures for women in sports similar to cricket, the current study shows a higher frequency of injury. The most commonly injured anatomical location was the distal lower limb, in contrast to previous studies reporting shoulder and back pain. The high frequency of head, neck and spinal injuries self-reported needs further consideration to determine the specific nature of these injuries, whilst as are the number of injuries that remain untreated is concerning. There are some limitations to the retrospective self-reported nature of this study. However, this study offers a foundation for future monitoring of injuries sustained by female cricketers.

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