Common rugby injuries

1 February 2016

If you play sports, you inevitably have to deal with the side-effect of injury. Rugby, more than most sports, makes you particularly vulnerable to injury thanks to the many hard tackles, scrums and sudden changes of direction. Your knees, ankles, shoulders and more are all at risk, but these common rugby injuries can be dealt with, or prevented, by some of the products listed below.

ACL/MCL Tear or Sprain

Your knees are especially vulnerable when you're playing rugby, and some of the most common injuries relate to your knee ligaments, such as the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament). Ligament injury can occur either from contact, such as in a tackle, or from a sudden change of direction or awkward landing. A slight stretch or mild tear of the ACL or MCL is called a sprain, whereas if the ligament has been split completely it is called a tear. 

Ligament injuries can have you out of action for a long period. A complete tear can take between six months and a year to fully recover from, if not more. If you have damaged your ligaments, or want to prevent such an accident occurring, then there are several products which are suitable. The Bauerfeind Softec Genu Knee Brace is a great choice for recovery and rehabilitation that works brilliantly to stabilise the knee using "intelligent" fixed joint splints.

Shoulder Injury (Labral Tear, Rotator Cuff, Dislocation)

Your shoulder is a very mobile joint, which makes it susceptible to injury in a contact sport such as rugby. Being tackled, making a tackle or falling awkwardly on your shoulder are all things that can cause a shoulder injury. Your Labrum is a piece of cartilage that helps stabilise the shoulder joint, but can be torn by a direct injury such as falling on an outstretched hand, leading to instability and pain.

A dislocated shoulder can also occur after a tackle or heavy fall, where the ball joint of your upper arm pops out of the shoulder socket. This can take between 12 and 16 weeks to heal after it has been put back in its socket. Many shoulder injuries need surgery, and a great product for rehabilitation is the Bauerfeind OmoTrain S Shoulder Support. This support activates the musculature around the joint, and contains a removable massage pad for soothing comfort. 

Ankle Sprain

The ankle, like the knee, contains ligaments which can be fully or partially torn. When you sprain your ankle you usually injure your ATFL or CFL ligaments. The most common type of ankle sprain occurs on the lateral (outside) part of the ankle, when your foot rolls inwards, underneath the ankle. This can cause pain, swelling and bruising. Even in severe sprains, however, surgery is usually not necessary and if you can bear weight on the ankle you should be able to heal relatively quickly. 

An excellent method of treatment for common rugby injuries such as this is the 'RICE' method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). The compression part of this method can be achieved through wearing a brace or support, which has the added bonus of stabilising the ankle and preventing a repeat injury. The Aircast A60 Ankle Brace is a particularly effective product, with a lightweight, anatomical design that easily fits within a shoe for maximum convenience.

General Brusing, Swelling, Aching

Tired, bruised or aching muscles and joints are a fact of life for rugby players, and while it's not enough to keep you off the pitch, it can cause pain and discomfort if left untreated. A great product for combating this is KT Tape. Kinesiology tape is a strong, elastic athletic tape that can reduce muscle pain, increase mobility and enhance athletic performance. 

Get it Here

These products are all great for treating common rugby injuries, but if you want to look for some alternatives why not browse the Think Sport website, in particular our Supports and Braces section.