The Queensland Bulls cricket team is already well into their preseason training and are hot favourites to retain the Sheffield Shield in the 2012-13 summer. So too the Brisbane Heat, who despite just falling short of the making the Big Bash finals last year are expecting big things this coming December and January. The squad welcomes back Nathan Hauritz after 6 years playing in Sydney and Usman Khawaja, the exciting left-handed opening batsman has also made the move north inspired by the unique coaching style of Darren ‘Boof” Lehmann. The squad is also bolstered by a number of emerging junior players and a solid list of experienced campaigners including captain James Hopes and veteran wicketkeeper Chris Hartley.
The Bulls squad in preparation for the compacted season ahead undergo a number of medical and fitness assessments and tests. Just like the rest of us, peak foot health is critical for optimal performance and comfort while on the field. Serious and debilitating foot and leg conditions commonly experienced by cricketers include stress fractures, tendonitis, sprains and strains, spurs, joint impingement and contusions. Fast bowlers in particular, can also suffer less serious but equally uncomfortable blisters, calluses and corns, bruised and broken toenails, and even open heel fissures (deep cracks).
my FootDr podiatrists and directors Darren Stewart and Greg Dower have been involved with Queensland Cricket for the past season and were yesterday invited to assess the squad and provide necessary treatment. The assessment of each player involved a thorough history, assessment of their joint and muscle range of movement, postural review, detailed gait assessment both relaxed walking and also the specifics of their playing mechanics, high definition peak pressure mat readings, and a 3D foot profile scan of their feet.
Each player will be provided with highly customised foot orthoses to improve comfort, optimise shoe fit, equalise pressure and overall assist in alignment and efficiency of the feet and legs. Some players have leg length discrepancies, a common anatomical variation, and benefit from having a raise inserted in the sole of the shoe to balance the pelvis and assist in spinal alignment. Both Darren and Greg will be in regular contact with the team physiotherapist and Queensland Bulls legend Martin Love during the season, and attend recovery sessions to provide onsite treatment and advice to the team.