Rugby is one of the most popular sports around today and is one of the toughest on the body. As many people who play rugby know, there are few areas of the body that can avoid getting hit or injured while playing because of how heavy of a contact sport it is. In this blog, we’re going to look at which injuries are the most common, and what actions you can take to avoid them.
It is common for players to get bruises or strains to the muscles when playing rugby. Almost half of rugby injuries are on the muscles but many can be avoided or prevented. So knowing the best ways to do this is crucial to your game management.
Another 25% of injuries are head injuries. With the main head injury being concussions.
Fractures are another common and more serious injury involved in rugby.
Also sprains such as ankle sprains (which are the most common) can occur at ligaments in various areas of the body for example the knee, shoulder and ankle
Although the injuries mentioned above are the most common injuries in rugby, different people will be at risk in different ways. For example, children are more at risk of fractures than other age groups because bones still developing until you are in your 20’s.
Also, the role you play in the team has an effect on the risk of injury. Hookers and flankers are the most injured players on the team and put themselves in positions where they are more likely to get injured, this is especially relevant in tackling.
So as we have covered there are many injuries you can pick up during rugby and it is common to think that this comes with the territory of playing the game. But you can reduce the risk of injury and therefore play more minutes on the pitch.
It has been shown that most rugby injuries take place right at the start of the season. This is because people have fallen out of their training routine and are suddenly going from 0 to 100 when returning to play. By doing this the muscles and ligaments are not fully prepared for being back and are at a greater risk of injury. The best thing to do in the offseason is to still train and keep your body at a good level of fitness so you are prepared for the return to the pitch.
Certain muscles and joints are at more risk of injury in certain positions. For example, backs are more likely to injure their knees because of being in a compromised position. If your body isn’t functioning correctly and is tight in certain areas then injuries are more likely to occur. This can occur because if you force the joints or muscles into positions they are not used to then they can be injured whereas if they were loose, mobile and stable, then they have less chance of injury. This is the area we focus on in the clinic. We do this by doing a full functional assessment and then explaining which areas of your body can be worked on to help improve performance and decrease the risk of injury.
If you want to know more about potential causes of injuries or get your pain sorted, then contact the clinic for a full functional assessment and treatment. Contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
In the last blog article we covered a number of different topics related to concussion and its management. We will focus on nutrition and sleep in this article.
Post Concussion Signs & Symptoms:
Difficulty in remembering things or people
Lack of Focus
How to Improve Recovery with Nutrition:
Omega 3 Fish Oils are important in cognitive function of the brain, they will also act as anti inflammatories for the brain during the recovery phase of the concussion
Creatine helps to increase water retention in the body which will in turn increase fluid levels supporting the brain during healing.
Turmeric is a powerful natural anti inflammatory which can also aid in the recovery phase
The majority of post concussion patients will need to increase their number of hours of sleep as this is essential for the brain to recovery from injury. It is also important to decrease the time spent on mobile devices as the blue light from the screen can have an effect on melatonin levels which help to regulate sleep cycles. Most devices and computer now come with blue light filter or apps can be downloaded if not included on your phone, tablet or computer.
In the sporting world concussions are one of the most commonly seen injuries, particularly in impact sports. Concussions can also happen in the general population. They are one of the most important injuries to recognise quickly. Appropriate treatment and rehabilitation are essential, because concussion really is a mild form of traumatic brain injury.
Just one concussion can increase the risk of long term damage to the brain and can increase the risk of getting another concussion. This is why it is so important to recognise them and get treatment. Not only can you injure the brain when you have a concussion, there can also be damage to the spine and the neck musculature and ligaments.
What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Post-Concussion syndrome is what can occur after the initial injury and can last in some cases up to six months. Symptoms include: headache, dizziness, fatigue, cognitive difficulties (difficulty remembering things or focusing), and irritability, with some of these symptoms being caused by spasms in the musculature of the head and neck.
One common muscle involved in head and neck injuries is the Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor. It attaches on the first vertebrae of the neck and occiput, and then has connections into the dura mater, one of the layers of covering over the brain. When these structures are injured or not functioning properly, it can cause pulling on the dura mater around the brain leading to increased headaches.
How Can ART ® help?
Active Release Techniques® are used to help diagnose and find the injured area and treat it, with the goals of restoring the normal movement of the muscle and/or joint, thereby speeding up the rate of healing! And in the case of this muscle, helping to decrease headaches.
Along with ART ® we have numerous other techniques we use in the clinic to help you get back quickly to enjoying your activities and your life! Contact us today to see if we can help with your recovery from a concussion!
Dizziness can be a little bit complicated. It can be caused by a number of different reasons, but you probably never thought that your neck could be one of them!? Well Cervicogenic vertigo is exactly that, dizziness that is theorised to be caused from dysfunctional or lack of movement in the neck.
20-58% of people who have had head/neck injuries or whiplash will also experience dizziness
How can my neck contribute to dizziness?
Typically this specific type of dizziness is seen in people after an injury to the head and neck such as concussion or whiplash. But that is not always the case, sometimes it is also seen in people with severe muscle spasm in the neck or loss of movement in the neck.
Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive where it is in space. Tricky to understand, but basically think about it as your ability to stay on balance. Proprioceptive receptors in the neck can be disrupted through concussion or whiplash injury, thus relaying incorrect information back to the brain about where the body is, causing the sensation of dizziness or the sensation of being pulled to one side, or the room spinning. Along with the dizziness people with this type of vertigo typically have pain and limited range of motion in the head and neck.
What are the symptoms?
Neck pain and/or loss of motion in the neck
Dizziness, sense of the room moving or spinning, or feeling disconnected from your body
The difference between other types of vertigo and this one are that the dizziness type symptoms you experience are made worse by holding specific positions of the head and neck. Moving the head doesn’t usually cause the symptoms to flare up but keeping the head in a certain position for a longer time does.
This type of vertigo or dizziness that is caused from injury to or lack of movement in the neck typically responds well to chiropractic care and physiotherapy. Using manual therapy such as manipulation, mobilisation, and Active Release Techniques (ART®) to release the muscles and improve range of motion has been shown to help in these cases. Also specific exercises for the neck and exercises to improve proprioception can be beneficial as well.
As with any condition it is important to have a thorough examination to figure out the true cause of the problem. Give us a call today to see if we can help with your problem!