Objective: To describe the impact of shoulder injuries on professional cricketers during the 2005 England and Wales first class cricket season.
Design: Professional cricketers in England were asked to complete two questionnaires relating to shoulder injuries. Players who returned both questionnaires were included in this study.
Main outcome measurements: The impact of any shoulder pain whilst playing cricket, impaired cricketing performance and shoulder injury related problems during training and activities of daily living.
Results: One hundred and fifty eight of a total of 378 players (42%) returned both questionnaires. Twenty-three per cent of the participants described shoulder injury during the 2005 season. Injury prevalence (the percentage of players not available for selection in a match due to shoulder injury) was 1.7%. Sixty-four per cent of shoulder injured players often or always had associated problems when fielding, and 58% of shoulder injured players fielded in a specific position to avoid shoulder injury related problems. Eighteen per cent of all study participants felt pain on throwing at some stage during the survey period.
Conclusions: Professional cricketers generally play on with shoulder injuries without missing matches, though their performance, especially during fielding, is often compromised. Research into the diagnoses, aetiology, appropriate treatment and prevention of shoulder injuries in cricket is required.