Rugby, the field of dreams (and sprains, and broken bones)

Don’t look now, but we’re smack in the middle of another punishing rugby season (and that’s not even counting our tragic World Cup result!)

That is, if you believe the rugby season ever actually ends – many of the players I look after simply finish the 15s season and go straight into the 7s season, a perpetual life of rugby. Occasionally I hear of them going on holiday… but later I generally find out it was actually a rugby tour.

This means that as we began the 15s season, I was finding that some of the players I care for were already carrying injuries from the 7s season, and some had still not recovered from the last 15s season. This is a sport that does indeed take its toll on an athlete’s body, and with this season’s games compressed into the period before Christmas, it will be a real battle to keep enough players on the pitch to field a 1st and 2nd team.

The first of our league games was a baptism of fire: 80 minutes that spawned a multitude of injuries, including: three (count ‘em, three) concussions, one facial laceration, one grade 2 medial collateral ligament sprain, one grade 2 acromioclavicular ligament sprain, one posterior tibiofibular ligament sprain, one broken finger, and two thumb ligament sprains. Whew!

As concussion is such a hot topic in the rugby community at the moment, I’ve been trying to get all of the 1st team to do two types of cognitive baseline testing. Once I have this data, post-injury assessments can be made more quickly and accurately, and we can hopefully ensure a safe return to play for the athletes. However, despite my best attempts,  Murphy’s Law won out: one of the concussed players on our first game weekend had not yet been able to do the baseline testing.

After the blood, sweat, mud and broken bones of a Sunday, it’s always a relief to return to the pristine and calm environment of the therapy rooms at The Training Works. So if you’ve overdone it on the pitch at the weekend (or even in the aerobics studio), feel free to come and see me – if I can deal with what the Wasps do to themselves, I can deal with just about anything!

Emma Dorban-Hall

Physiotherapist

WASPs Ladies FC

Nick TaimitarhaRugby, the field of dreams (and sprains, and broken bones)

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