Cricket is one of the major international sports played in more than 60 countries. Though cricket is strictly a non contact sports, injuries are common. In fact cricket is more susceptible to high risk injuries and ranks fifth among cause of non fatal accidents. Cricket is highly repetitive game and injury on the field can happen during any phase of the game including bowling, batting and fielding. Injury can happen to any part of the body and foot is no exception. Cricket involves plenty of running and repeated actions which can lead to stress of all kinds. While playing cricket, high impact forces are applied on the structure of ankles, muscles, ligaments, toes, foot and the bones that supports each foot. Often these forces are two to three times of the body weight and so one can easily imaging the damage that can be done. Apart from direct consequences of playing cricket, injuries can also happen through ill-fitting shoes, and shocks.
Here is the list of some of the injuries:
- In some cases cricketers may observe black and blue color formation under their nails (subungal haematoma). This is often result of badly fitting shoes. Sometimes cricketers cut a hole in the toe box which is not recommended since it can alter the mechanism (function) of shoes and can also lead to other complications.
- Sometimes cricketers may experience pain in the lower back which is an indication of improper gait during action like bowling. This can be due to structural limitations such as the length of the limb (one limb shorter than the other).
- Sometimes a cricketer may observe yellow or green nails which occur naturally or if a nail is partially lifted during the game. If this is not treated on time, it can lead to unwanted bacterial growth or fungal infection.
- In some cases pain, redness, and swelling can be seen around the sides of the toes which is often accompanied by discharge. This is because of ingrowing toenail.
- Players sometimes complain of redness, infection, swelling, heat and pain at the side of the toe or at the base of the nail. This is known as Paraonychia and is common in sportsmen with big toes.
- Plantar fasciitis is very common among cricketers. It is characterized by mild to severe pain. A player might also experience feeling of tearing under the skin in the arch while standing. Worse pain is observed during morning or after rest. However sometimes it can get worse after the game or during the training session. This can also lead to discomfort in the heels.
- Many a times players experience pain at the back of the heel area. It is called Retro calcaneal tendonitis and it may radiate towards the upside at the back of the leg, but may not reach as far up as the calf.
Cricketers should immediately seek professional guidance in case of pain, structural anomalies or other symptoms. They should also wear proper fitting sports shoes and other sports gears to keep them safe from injuries.