Rugby is a contact sport, and as such it can mean players suffer injuries due to the pace of the game and the number of tackles which are made. The top tiers of the professional game are the most scrutinised, but junior rugby clubs should be aware of their own duty of care to their players.
Here we look at four common injuries and how they might be treated.
Concussion has been making the headlines in recent months, and the Rugby Football Union have acted swiftly to introduce a concussion protocol with the acronym HEADCASE. This kind of head injury is the most common cause of problems in the game and can be the most serious. The protocol helps staff to understand the symptoms and take the player out of the action as soon as possible. Checking for swelling and applying ice packs immediately is recommended, and paracetamol can be prescribed for headaches, but anti-inflammatories should be avoided. Monitoring the player’s health over the next few days and weeks is essential. Should symptoms continue, other medical advice should be sought.
This a strain or tear at the back of the thigh. Not warming up correctly before the game can accelerate such damage. The injury can be a strain but also involve a muscle tear. Treatment involves rest, applying ice packs to immediately reduce swelling, compression using a solid strapping such as an elasticated bandage and keeping the leg raised when at rest.
3. Neck Injuries
Given the contact nature of the sport, set pieces, mauls and rucks, neck injuries are common in the game. This type of injury can be caused by accidental foot slippage or simple misalignment of the body during contact. Hot and cold packs can be used to reduce swelling, and simple neck exercises will loosen the neck muscles and alleviate pain.
Injuries can occur in training, and it is important to have a series of rugby drills available to coaches such as those found at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/.
Pre-season conditioning can help players avoid injury, gradually increasing intensity over a number of weeks and preparing the body for the challenges ahead. Avoid inexperienced players coming into contact with colleagues who have been at this level for some time.
You want all your players fit for a new season.