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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134-140

Cervical spine range of motion and joint position sense in elite male cricketers: An observational study

1 Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Allied Health, Australian Catholic University, New South Wales, Australia
2 Cricket New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shreya McLeod
Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Allied Health, Australian Catholic University, 33 Berry Street, North Sydney 2060, North Sydney NSW 2059
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_111_19

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OBJECTIVE: The aims of the current study were to (1) establish baseline data for cervical range of motion (CROM) and joint position sense (JPS) in elite male cricketers, (2) determine whether these players had differences when compared to healthy adults, and (3) establish a reference set of values for future investigations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Design: Repeated measures, observational study. Participants: Thirty-one elite cricketers, aged 18–35 years. Setting: Cricket New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia. Outcome measures: Cervical rotation was measured with a CROM device and JPS using the joint position error (JPE) laser method with two protocols: repositioning to straight ahead and to 80% of maximum rotation. RESULTS: Mean right and left rotation were less than healthy normals by 6.5° (P < 0.001) and 4.2° (P < 0.001), respectively. In the preseason, 26% of cricketers had JPE >4.5° repositioning to straight ahead, which is 11% greater than the general population and 87% had JPE >4.5° when repositioning to 80% rotation. Postseason, deficits in CROM were unchanged. Fewer players (22%) had JPE >4.5° when repositioning to straight ahead however JPE when repositioning to 80% of rotation increased 1° for both directions (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to the authors' hypothesis, preliminary findings from this study demonstrated that elite male cricketers in this cohort had deficits in CROM and JPS, compared to normal healthy adults. This has clinical implications for the use of physical therapies targeting JPS and restoring CROM pre- and post-head and neck injury. Therapists should account for preexisting, baseline asymmetries in the range of motion and JPE in male cricketers. Further research needs to validate these findings across adolescent and female cricketers and explore the interaction between cervical spine parameters, cricket biomechanics, and head or neck injury risk.

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