Risk factors and shoulder dysfunction in elite male fast bowlers in South Africa
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Cricket is one of the world’s most popular sports. Cricketers are playing exponentially more matches due to the rise of wealth and opportunity, leaving modern-day fast bowlers at greater risk of injury. The aim of this study was to determine the intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for shoulder dysfunction among elite male fast bowlers, 18 years and older, in South Africa. This descriptive observational cross-sectional study utilised a non-randomised, convenience sampling method, recruiting 33 elite male South African fast bowlers as study participants. Data collection entailed a modified Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) Shoulder and Elbow questionnaire, which was completed by each participant and an assessment procedure including the measurement of shoulder range of motion and stability, which was conducted by the researcher to determine the intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for shoulder dysfunction in the participants. Data collection took place at the cricket stadiums which hosted the Knights team during the 2018/2019 domestic cricket season. Twenty-three participants (69.7%) were included in the shoulder dysfunction group and ten participants (30.3%) into the non-shoulder dysfunction group after classification by the researcher. Classification into the two groups were based on information obtained from the questionnaire and assessment procedure and participants meeting the conceptual definition of shoulder dysfunction as stated for this study. Results suggest that 23 (78.3%) participants in the shoulder dysfunction group were playing at franchise level, whereas 7 (70%) participants in the non-shoulder dysfunction group played at a provincial level. A higher chronic (1350) and acute (1175) bowling workload value was found within the non-shoulder dysfunction group, compared to the chronic (900) and acute (320) bowling workload values of 900 and 320 in the shoulder dysfunction group. Fast bowlers should be screened by the team physiotherapist regularly for early detection of risk factors, particularly those playing at a higher level and who have completed more seasons. A greater understanding and awareness of the identified risk factors will improve current fast bowler injury prevention strategies, ultimately improving the quality of cricket.