Common knowledge: cricket is India’s most popular sport. The country’s second most popular sport? Why, cricket, of course! Cricket fans are intense, and so is the game itself. The fast bowler is the cricketer most often injured due to the physical demands placed on the body.
The fast bowler needs to be able to run efficiently. In his analysis of Running with FMT, Dr Mike Binet describes running as a perpetual “forward fall” designed to maintain the forward momentum of the body. This is especially important for the fast bowler. A bowler who loses forward momentum from the bounding phase to back foot contact is likely to try to regain that momentum by increasing force through the back or arm. This is thought to be a possible reason elite fast bowlers suffer compression fractures in the spine.
Most bowlers use a form of mixed action technique where the hips and shoulders are not aligned with one another at back foot contact. During front foot contact with mixed technique, the spine is subject to extra forces of extension and rotation. The hips are a key joint in the chain of motion for all fast bowlers but especially so for those with mixed action technique as the hips provide the motion and strength necessary to limit excessive forces on the back and arm.
At the point of release, the shoulder comes forward from being flexed maximally overhead, and the bowler is using all of the momentum and strength he can to send the ball past the batsman and to the stumps. This is a very telling point of the bowling action: the release point of the ball is supposed to be with the bowling arm over the front leg. If shoulder motion is limited, the bowler has to put more strain through both the back and the shoulder to have an adequate release point over the front leg.
The Functional Manual Therapist is a specialist at analysing how all parts of the body should work together to move efficiently. Regardless of technique, the goal of the Functional Manual Therapist in treating the fast bowler is to identify the components of the bowling motion that cause injury and treat within the FMT paradigm of Mechanical, Neuromuscular and Motor Control.
In the mechanical assessment of an area, FMT looks at the body’s physical ability to complete a motion through the muscles and joints. Neuromuscular training focuses on the body’s ability to have initiation, strength, and endurance of muscles or muscle groups. Motor control integrates movement at each body segment to form an efficient whole body motion helping you compete to the best of your ability and maximize your potential.
Dr Steven Kofsky (DPT, CFMT, CMP) is a Certified Functional Manual Therapist at VARDAN, a wellness initiative by The Times Group in association with the Institute of Physical Art, USA
Functional Manual Therapy™ (FMT) is a comprehensive approach to physiotherapy,
which identifies and facilitates your existing potential through an in-depth examination and treatment of your mechanical capacity,
neuromuscular function and motor control. Discover your potential to have less pain and function better with FMT!
To schedule your appointment at the VARDAN Centre (New Delhi):
SMS VFMT to 58888
Call 011-43580720-22 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday)
For more information, log on to www.vardan.in