Goals of the Physiotherapist - Long-Term and Short-Term
Andrew Leipus and his 'physio' counterparts at the
international level deserve all the praise that
they can get for their outstanding contribution to
cricket in the area of fitness. They have lent a
new dimension to the game with their single-minded
objective of making the players of the teams they
are attached to, fitter, leaner and consequently,
more successful cricketers.
The impact that these gentlemen have had on the
game can best be gauged at the domestic and junior
levels. In India, a country that until very
recently was not renowned for producing the fittest
of cricketers, virtually every Ranji Trophy and
junior side now has a physio who travels with the
players, and sorts out the niggling pains and
injuries that are part and parcel of a cricketing
career in the modern era.
Like the players, whose foremost aim is to win
matches, a physio too has a set of objectives.
PHYSIOTHERAPY - SHORT-TERM GOALS:
The goals of early physiotherapy treatment are:
1. To control the acute pain and swelling
2. To tape or support with a brace.
These measures are important to prevent an injury
from worsening, or delaying the recovery process.
PHYSIOTHERAPY - LONG-TERM GOALS:
1. The exercise programme is tailored by the physio to strengthen the
muscles that surround the injured area, while
retracting the injured tissue.
2. For full recovery and return to active sport, the physio can provide a
strength training and conditioning programme that
includes sports-specific movements, which hgelps a
player regain balance and co-ordination.
The physio's job is to enable a player to return to
the sport without undergoing persistent pain or
recurrence of the injury, both of which can
sideline him for the season.
Andrew Leipus Physio of the Indian team tends to
Sachin Tendulkar during the 2003 World Cup encounter against Pakistan
ASSESSMENT and TREATMENT:
A good physio will be able to assess problematic
areas at the earliest. eg:
1- Sprained joints like the ankle, knee, shoulder,
2- Strained muscles like pulled hamstrings,
quadriceps, rotator cuff and groin.
3- Knee pain and patelofemoral pain.
4- 'Overuse' injuries such as Jumpers' Knee,
shin-splints, or runners' knee.
5- Tendonitis like achillis tendonitis
6- Chronic and recurrent injuries
7- Neck and back dysfunction
8- Postural imbalance.
IMMEDIATE INJURY TREATMENT BY THE PHYSIO:
The first and foremost job of a physio after an
injury occurs is to manage the most dreaded word
This is done by following the R.I.C.E. method.
R : Rest (The injured tissue should have a period of rest to heal)
I : Ice (10 mins frequently is better than one long application)
C : Compression (to control or reduce swelling)
E : Elevation (elevate the injured part to help drainage)
1- The physio implements injury prevention and
management programmes with every member of the
team. These programmes are provided to promote
'safe' sport and assist the players in their
2- The physio conducts educational sessions for pre
and post-season fitness-specific activities. These
sessions are effective as they help to improve the
fitness levels of the players and increase the
tonicity and elasticity of the critical functional
FITNESS TESTING BY THE PHYSIO:
A physio should conduct 'pre-season testing' to
identify 'high-risk' players and advise them on
conditioning programmes to prevent injury. A physio
analyses the predisposing factors of muscle
strength - flexibility and balance that affect the
He enlightens the players on aspects of
sportsmetrics i.e. injuries that occur without
direct contact. The physio trains the players and
gives each of them a designed programme to increase
their jump-height and reduce the possibility of
knee injuries. This programme emphasizes:
1. Proper jumping techniques
2. Reduction in knee injuries.
3. Increase in the jump-height
4. Flexibility and building exercises.
If a fit and healthy body is what the cricketers of
today desire, then physiotherapists and their
'trainer' colleagues have an extremely important
role to play in helping them satisfy this need.