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Sports Injuries

02 March 2011

Lower leg injuries

Batsmen’s shins are protected from the ball by pads, but they are not protected from shin splints, caused by running on a hard pitch.

Batsmen’s shins are protected from the ball by pads, but they are not protected from shin splints, caused by running on a hard pitch.

The biggest risk factors are overtraining, indoor surfaces, and poor shoes/boots. Beginners are also at increased risk because they are not used to the high impact running has on the muscles and joints of the lower leg and foot.

Risk factors:

•  Running on hard surfaces
•  Excessive pronation
•  Improper stretching
•  Lack of warm-up
•  Training too hard
•  Increasing mileage too quickly

  • Pain on the inside “front” side of the shin with weight-bearing activities
  • Lumps and bumps over the bone
  • Pain when the toes or ankle are bent downwards, inwards, or upwards
  • A  redness over the inside of the shin

Another common injury is a calf muscle strain, which can be caused by overstretching, twisting, high force calf muscle contractions, or by being hit in the back of the leg by a cricket ball. Chronic strains are usually the result of overuse, with causative factors higher up that kinetic chain, even as far as the lower back.

 

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Sports Injuries Expert

Adrian Rotunno is a medical doctor in the Sports & Exercise Medicine fellowship at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, and qualified physiotherapist. Team physician for Dimension Data pro-cycling, and Boland Rugby. Special interests include endurance sport, in particular cycling, as well as contact sports.

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