Side strain is a common injury in bowlers. Side strain usually occurs when the internal or external oblique muscles or the transversalis fascia is torn or sprained. It typically affects the non-bowling arm and occurs due to over-use.
A side strain is characterised by severe pain between the lower ribs and pelvis, bruising, swelling and difficulty bending to the unaffected side.
The immediate treatment for a side strain injury consists of rest, ice, and compression. This is aimed at reducing the bleeding and damage within the muscle tissue. Once the pain and stiffness subsides, gentle return to normal activity can begin. Core strength and stability exercises to the trunk and pelvis are important to reduced the chances of recurrence.
Limiting the number of overs a bowler bowls on the trot can also help prevent re-injury of the muscle.