New research has shown a link between fast bowling at a young age and the likelihood of suffering a specific spinal injury.
Lumbar Lordosis is an abnormal curve in the spine towards the lower back, which is often seen in athletes whose sport requires excessive extension and torsion.
The extra curve places furthers pressure on the spine, which can cause pain. It also causes an unnatural body shape, which can effect posture and increase the risk of osteoporosis in old age.
Report co-author Norman Stomski, from Murdoch University, said the risk of a young fast bowler suffering such an injury was high.
“Fast bowlers are subjecting themselves to greater risks than players of different roles in cricket,” Dr Stomski said.
“Players who are still growing and developing physically are at a much greater risk of injury compared to adult players.”
In his report, which was co-authored with University of Northern Iowa academic Mark Hecimovich, Dr Stomski said the research had relied upon an examination of results from 59 junior cricketers.
Dr Stomski said there were no preventative measures available to young fast bowlers, but their workload could be managed.
He said players who undertook a rehabiliation program usually made a full recovery.
A spokesman for the WA Cricket Association said they had not seen the report, but the WACA was aware that back injuries were common among young bowlers.
The spokesman also said it was important to take care of a young bowler’s back.