Common Rugby Injuries and Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Rugby is a fast and intense sport that involves full tackle contact, running, and ball play. Mainly boys and men play rugby, though many women also enjoy the sport. People playing organized rugby on a team may engage in as many as 40 tackles in a game, and about 25 percent of all players will have some type of activity-related injury during a season. Kinetic Sports Medicine offers non-operative treatment options that can help heal many common rugby injuries.

The Most Common Rugby Injuries

The majority of rugby injuries involve bruising and muscular strains. Players can also experience sprains, fractures, dislocations, and lacerations. Some players may also develop overuse injuries involving joints, ligaments, and tendons. In rugby, head injuries are another common occurrence, and concussions are a risk due to tackling, colliding, and falling.

Injuries to the upper body are common among rugby players, and a frequent incident that occurs involves a shoulder injury. Rugby players often try to avoid being tackled by members of the opposing team by putting their arms straight out to the side. In a tackle situation, this movement could result in a painful tear of the cartilage or tendons in the shoulder. These rotator cuff mishaps are a common shoulder injury. Rugby players could also suffer injury when on the offensive trying to make a tackle.

Among those that play rugby, head injuries and neck injuries are another common occurrence due to the high contact play of this sport. If a concussion occurs, a player may have immediate disorientation, confusion, memory lapses, dizziness, and nausea. These symptoms might not present right away though, sometimes setting in a week or two later. Neck injuries can lead to long-term nerve damage, which may cause pain and weakness in the limbs.

Any of the aforementioned injuries can sideline those playing rugby. Knee injury is also a risk due to the amount of running and the possibility of uneven terrain; players routinely zig-zag across the field, executing explosive direction changes. Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament is a common rugby knee injury. The ACL is responsible for providing stability to the knee.

Traditional Treatments

The traditional course of treatment for rugby injuries involves rest, ice, immobilization, and elevation. More serious injuries may require medication and surgery to repair breaks, tears, and ruptures. Some players may require multiple surgeries to repair damage. After surgery, a player would need to engage in an extended rehabilitation period to recover and regain strength. This rehabilitation often involves physical therapy.

Alternative Treatments

Rather than conventional and invasive techniques, Kinetic Sports Medicine offers advanced, minimally-invasive treatment options that have the potential to be more effective that surgical alternative. These non-surgical procedures involve the use of a patient's own stem cells or blood platelets to enhance healing. Laboratory processes prepare the stem cells or the blood, and then the procedure involves an ultrasound-guided injection at the injury site. Dr. Richard Kim is a primary care sports medicine physician who practices medicine that involves newer technologies designed to manage pain and heal injuries. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about our services for rugby sports injuries.