Lower Back Pain From Bowling

Discussion in 'Pace Bowling (and fielding)' started by Stanley5184, Oct 5, 2011.

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  1. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    I'm 17, a left handed, medium/fast bowler.

    The pain originates about 2 inches to the left of my spine around the lumbar area. I've done heaps of research but there's nothing much there that can 'fix' it. It hurts when i lean backwards and sneeze. Its also tight after slouching for a while then trying to stand up straight. And it kills when i push it hard or lie on a tennis ball.

    I may have started last season and in my first training session this season, maybe 7 weeks ago, i may have gone a bit hard. Since then i haven't really been bowling, trying to rest it. The season starts this weekend so I'm hoping its ok for me to bowl but I'm worried the pain will come back. It usually hurts for 3 days, goes away, then comes back the next time i bowl I figured it may be my action so I've fixed that but the pain still persists. I use to place my foot front/mid on and my shoulders were side on. Now I'm fairly front on.
    Any help will be greatly appreciate as this is causing me so much trouble

    Thanks again
    Stan B.
     
  2. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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    Hi Stanley,

    Your discomfort is almost certainly due to your bowling action. Although you have changed it, it still needs a little work. Most importantly, you need to remain tall; keep upright as much as possible. Although your bottom half remains facing forward during follow through, your upper body flexes and rotates too much... don't take your bowling shoulder so far across your body. You also need to keep your eyes on the batsman until he strikes!

    The other cause of your discomfort is down to weak back muscles [and imbalances] as well as poor core. It would really help if you could work on this too.
     
  3. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    Hey Liz,

    Firstly thanks alot for the great quick reply.

    Do you have any tips on keeping more upright? when you say "upright" is that during the run up, first stride, when i release the ball or follow through?

    Could you also give me some exercises to help strengthen my back. My core isn't too bad, i can plank for 2 minutes. Its most likely my back that needs strengthening because i can easily do over 100 sit ups so the abs aren't a problem

    thanks again
     
  4. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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    Many apologies Stanley, I wanted to reply to you yesterday but, unfortunately, I did not have much time so my reply was a little rushed.

    Your run up is fine, your action breaks down at the point of bowling arm acceleration. You remind me so much of Storm, have a read of his thread; his video is attached to the first post:

    http://www.bigcricket.com/community/threads/new-video-of-action.41374/#post-326159

    Marco's thread may also help a little:

    http://www.bigcricket.com/community/threads/lower-back-muscles.28568/

    As for core work, I cannot tell you how many have come to me saying, "I can plank for 2 minutes" and really can. In all my work in strength and conditioning, I think it may be one, although I cannot remember if it is even that high :D Most people cheat!

    Have a look at David's thread:

    http://www.bigcricket.com/community...-training-all-about-anyway.24868/#post-180035

    I shall look for FBI's stretch for you and post the thread if I can find it. In the meantime, please feel free to post questions on any of the above threads and we will try to help.
     
  5. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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  6. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    Hey Liz,

    Thanks again for the great prompt reply. I had my first training in around 6 weeks yesterday and my back is killing me. I was taking it real easy not a single top pace delivery. I was pretty much walking in to bowl. Its just frustrating because during some movements i have a sharp pain that just stops me. It even hurts sometimes during my run up when i run on my right leg.

    Its frustrating at times because it seems as though I'm the only one who experiences it in the two U17 teams. When you say my action breaks down, do you mean i fall away to the left and twist my upper body too much? I not too sure on how to go about fixing this because it seems wired and awkward not bringing my arm across my body to follow through.

    I have a game on Sunday and I'll definitely play but wondering whether or not i should bowl full pace.
     
  7. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    Hey Liz,

    I got some interesting news that may change everything....not too sure yet but still excited! My dad had a real good look at my back and it turns out my spine is kinda bent. This picture plus my awesome paint skills are like a thousand words:

    [​IMG]
    Firstly ^ That ain't me. The Lines show my spine and the circles show where it hurts. The lower circle only hurts when you push it but the top one hurts during sudden use and also when you push it. The top one seems to be part of a muscle and it should be a bit bigger.

    I don't know if this is anything different from anyone Else's problem but I'm hoping if i can somehow straighten it the pain would go away. My dad thinks the muscle is contracting/pulling the spine and that's why it is bent but hes no expert

    Any help would be great!

    Thanks again
     
  8. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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    I have to agree Stanley, those paint skills are truly awesome. :D

    Your symptoms are quite common in pace bowlers, however, they follow more than one cause. Your Dad's suggestion is probably right as tension in the left back muscles will have the effect of shortening that side, causing your spine to curve. This muscle imbalance is also going to cause you quite a bit of discomfort.

    I really do think you should eliminate the other causes though; the spine is not something you should take for granted. I would hugely recommend you visit your GP to eliminate scoliosis [unlikely], spondylolisthesis or a stress fracture. Your doctor may also decide to give you some strong pain killers, though not all agree with this.

    Once eliminated, we can work on correcting the imbalance.

    In the meantime, you need to work on your action.
     
  9. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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    How does it feel when you perform FBI's stretch above? Obviously, I am more interested when you raise your left arm for the stretch! ;)
     
  10. TonyM

    TonyM Member

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    Stanley, you are in good company, my lad went to see Liz recently and suddenly realised the difference between perception and reality when it came to core strength, lets just say he has a long way to go, but is at least he is on a better road than before :).

    I will leave Liz to look at the 'athlete', but going back to your bowling action and looking at this from a coaches perspective. The image below is on the first ball, you are looking full face at the camera and your front knee has collapsed (going back to Liz's comments about being tall). Also (I think) the point Liz is making about upper body rotation is that in your follow through your shoulders end up way 'ahead' of your hips - in the 2nd picture your shoulders are down the line of the ball, whilst your hips are still pretty square to the wicket.

    So a couple of things to try with your action. First try to be as tall as possible at the point of release, almost as if you were stretching to reach something on a high shelf, which involves the whole body, rather than just getting a high bowling arm, although be careful not to lock the front knee - this is advocated by some coaches but for now a 'straigher / stronger' front leg is what you are looking for and then an 'extended' trunk up through your shoulder to your arm. Secondly, try to rotate your shoulders on a more vertical rather than horizontal plane (this starts with a higher front shoulder, which again might help with being taller at the crease) and this should result in your right shoulder following through in a more downwards direction rather than across your body

    Best of luck

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    Thanks Liz and Tony for your awesome advise.

    It doesn't hurt when i do it but i can definitely tilt left more than i can tilt right.

    That's some great advice Tony, i especially liked the part when you said my shoulders should have a more vertical motion. IT doesn't really hurt when i bowl like that. That's a perfect way to explain it and i will be working on it hard. When I do it, it feels weird because I'm not pivoting and the ball seem to go down the legs side, any other tips to stop this?

    Thanks alot guys, i really appreciate all the time your putting in to help me
     
  12. TonyM

    TonyM Member

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    No worries Stanley, your current action has built up various 'compensations' and I guess this is contributing to the 'feeling weird', its a question of unlearning those things and then you should feel a heck of a lot smoother, the fact that you dont have pain when you bowl should be incentive enough. As for the leg side issue, be careful not to just 'push' the ball with the change in your action, still 'bowl' and it is probably just a case of giving it time with your new approach for your body into get in a new groove, try it for a few sessions and then post another clip up on here if the problem persists. Also dont forget the 'athelete' in all this and Liz has given you plenty to think about on that side too.
     
  13. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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    I am really pleased to hear this Stanley. You need to stretch like this regularly. I also need you to touch your toes with alternate hands... the 'touching of the toes' is not as important as keeping your legs straight... just go down as far as you can but reach your left hand towards your right toe and vice versa.

    Tony is absolutely spot on with 'grooving the action'. This will take time and until your CNS gets the message [and it will] the action will feel odd. You could practise without the run up in your room... slowly take one step with the left foot, then back foot contact, front foot contact, bowl [without a ball ;)] and concentrate on initial follow through... keeping everything faced straight 'down the wicket' and upright. If you can do this in front of a mirror, all the good.

    There is so much you are doing right in your action but this little deviation is not only causing you discomfort, it is also reducing your pace; it is throwing you off balance, enforcing compensations.
     
  14. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    Thanks again guys

    I'll definately keep working on getting the new boling action smooth and I'll surely post a video.

    Hey Liz, this may sound kinda weird but when i go down to touch my toes, its not really my hamstrings that are feeling the stretch. Instead i cant go any further because there's this weird feeling a bit like a stretch but i cant go any further because it hurts to much. This sensation originate from around the middle of my shins. Has anyone ever mentioned this before? To stretch my hammy's I have to bend my knees and then my shins are fine. They also don't hurt when i point my toes, but then I cant touch them.

    Thanks again
     
  15. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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    This too is common Stanley but I have to tell you that if you are bending your knees to stretch your hamstrings, you are not stretching your hamstrings!

    As I said in the previous post, and I cannot emphasise this enough, the 'touching of the toes' is not important, it is important that you keep your legs straight; just go down as far as you can without bending the knees. You will find if you do this often enough, you will eventually be able to get down further. Make sure you keep your feet parallel and the feet do not form a 'V' shape.

    It also sounds like your calf muscles are extremely tight. This is all going to impact on your back. :(
     
  16. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I had my first games today, U17 and seniors. Right after my first bowl, my was hurting worse then ever. The new news is the pain is actually in a different area as the picture above. The top circle only hurts when you push it. The stabbing pain originates from about 1to 2 inches above my tail bone and fairly central not to the left or right side.

    During an over it didn't really hurt, but as i would jog over to fine leg, it was absolutely killing me, pretty much every step was hurting me. So i could only walk. Its kinda hard to describe the pain, but when it happens i have to bend down and lean back a bit. It sorta like when you bend over for ages and you have to slowly get up. I cant get up fast just slowly straighten my back when it happens

    I'm now thinking the problem has something to do with nerves because the pain is kinda random like only some movements and if i repeat the movement i don't always experience it again. IT only ever occurs in the same spot. When i was batting it was perfectly fine, not a single 'stabbing', its ONLY when i bowl.

    I'll be going to see a chiropractor during the week most likely before training which is on Thursday. Any recommendations in Melbourne?? What should i expect to happen...x-ray?

    Thanks again
     
  17. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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    I really do think the best course of action is initially medical. Personally, I would prefer your family doctor but whoever you see, ensure the outcome is referral for an x-ray or MRI scan... be persistent. ;)

    I don't think I have any contacts in Melbourne but I will ask around Sydney and Brisbane and come back to you if they can give me a recommendation.
     
  18. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    Liz, you don't have to go through your contacts in Sydney and Brisbane, its just too much trouble. I'll ask around to find a good one.
     
  19. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Active Member

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    I did not receive any recommendations in Melbourne but looking at the directories, Melbourne is well served. Who did you choose in the end Stanley and how did it go.
     
  20. Stanley5184

    Stanley5184 New Member

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    Well i ended up seeing a physio and he gave my back a real good massage and said i got knots in my back. It immediately felt better like my whole torso was lubricated but then, the next day it was kinda hurting again, not as bad as before though. He said if it doesn't fix it then I'll need to get an x-ray because there may be a stress fracture.

    I've decided not to bowl for about 2 months until its all better and hopefully it stays that way. I guess the trick is to warm up.

    Its funny because before the left side hurt when you pushed it and the bottom of the right hurt, but now after the massage, the left one doesn't hurt at all but the upper 2/3rds of the right part hurts.

    I'm finding it really hard to stretch my hamstrings because i cant really bend over past my knees because its just really hurting my back. The pain has now moved more down above and to the left about an inch or too of the tail bone, its on the back of the hip bone (i think that's what it is) For me its the bone sticking out the most. I'm thinking that's a good sign because if the other one went away this might as well.

    The sudden 'stabbings' still occur and I've noticed it happens once i get off a chair and lean on my left hip, crouch down then get up.
     
Put it out there