29 July 2019
Sports injury and general children’s physio specialist Chris, who works at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull near Birmingham, has been working with the Warwickshire County Cricket Team for over three years. During the cricket season Chris takes on the physio role full-time, working with both first and second XI teams.
“One of the main roles of a cricket physio is to be on hand for any injuries sustained during a match," Chris explains. "I will be travelling with the teams from April to September and on the sidelines for every match.
“Common injuries I see at matches include stress fractures – common in bowlers, and ankle injuries and broken fingers. Players are also susceptible to hamstring, shoulder and knee injuries. It’s important to assess and treat professional players as soon as possible to prevent further damage that could impact not only their current playing season, but could also lead to long term problems if not treated quickly.”
In between cricket seasons, Chris also works with players to ensure they have a strong maintenance programme, “Like any sport, keeping a good level of fitness and physical health is vital in between matches. I work as part of a team to support the players’ ongoing fitness levels and address any issues that can flare up following a training session. Like any of us, if you go from one extreme to another - lots of sporting activity to none and back again - you are highly likely to do yourself an injury and a maintenance programme is vital for professionals to continue and improve their current fitness levels.”
While Chris would have loved to have been a player himself, working in the cricketing world has been a dream come true, he was lucky enough to cover a Lords game in 2018.
He recalls: "I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many amazing cricketers and it really is a pleasure working with the Warwickshire teams, especially Chris Woakes, a great all-rounder and a genuinely nice guy, and a cricket legend.”
Thinking of playing cricket this summer? Here are Chris’ top tips
- Wear a helmet – if you are playing with a real cricket ball wear a helmet. The number of concussions have increased over the past few years and it is paramount people protect themselves
- If you are just starting out or haven’t played for a while, ease yourself into things. Especially when bowling because it can be quite strenuous
- Don’t turn your back on someone who is batting – keep your attention forward as turning your back could lead to an accident
- When batting, swinging the bat as hard as you can is counterproductive and you will often miss it. A nicely timed gentler swing is usually more effective and easier on the body
Chris provides a specialist sports injury physio service at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, he also sees children for general physiotherapy needs.
Q: How quickly could I have a consultation and how much would it cost?
A: It depends on availability, but we pride ourselves on getting you fast access and you can often get a consultation within 24/48 hours. Initial consultation fees vary by consultant, but around £80 for a physiotherapy initial consultant is a reasonable guide, plus £50 for each half hour of treatment.