Shoulder Pain in Cricketers – Causes And Treatment

iStock_shoulderIt is crucial for any person playing cricket or any other kind of sport to ensure they are physically fit. You need to be fit to play all-round the new season, take wickets, or hit boundaries. A physically fit player has a lower risk of injuries which might keep the player on sidelines for a prolonged period. Cricketers can experience two different types of shoulder injuries namely, acute pain and chronic shoulder pain. The article outlines causes and nature of shoulder pain and treatment.

Causes and Types

The humerus and scapula fit to form the shoulder joint. The joint is loose to allow 360 degrees mobility of the arm. The joint also allows the bones, ligaments, and muscles to function stably. An injury or pain at the joint limits the movement of the joint. Some of the causes of the illness are due to muscle tears, bone dislocation while playing cricket, and bursitis among others.

Rotator Cuff Injury & Pain

The rotator cuff is a muscle in the shoulder joint. It is a common type of shoulder pain experienced by cricketers. It comes about due to the repeated throwing or bowling. The overuse of the muscles during the long cricket season can cause damage leading to pain. Inflammation of tendons in the shoulder causes the pain. Cricketers can improve and strengthen arms through physical exercises such as pilates.


During the match, the ball might hit your arm muscles causing bruising. Wounds can be severe depending on the damage of tissues or swelling on your shoulder especially for all-rounder and wicketkeeper.

Thrower’s Elbow

Cricketers can experience pain in elbow due to hand overuse which causes damage. The bowler uses the same hand to throw the ball.

Treatment and Diagnosis

In case a cricketer experience pain on the shoulder before, during, or after a match, they should consult their physician immediately. If the pain persists, then the cricketer should seek help from a Sports and Spinal Physio for specialised treatment. The specialist will perform a thorough examination of the shoulder to establish procedure applicable, and relieve the patient of any shoulder pain. The physio may utilise a combination of blood tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and X-rays among other tests to diagnose the shoulder pain.

Medications- Pain Relievers

A specialist will prescribe the use of drugs to relieve pain on the joint if the injury is minor. Paracetamol drugs are helpful in reducing the pain.


Cricketers can also use ice to minimise pain during a match.

Steroids injections

An injection of shoulder muscles can reduce shoulder pain. The doses improve the function of the shoulder quickly by reducing inflammation in the tissues.


In extreme cases, a cricketer may require surgery to reduce shoulder pain. For instance, a player may need surgery to repair rotator cuff injuries. Operations also enable replacements of shoulder joints.

During recovery of shoulder pain or injury, a Sports and Spinal Physio will assist the patient with physiotherapy programs. The programs will include regular exercises of the body and the shoulder and advice on improving posture of the joint. The specialist will assist in dressing in case a player experience dislocation, or broken bones on the shoulder.