Osteopathy & Rugby Part II: Common Rugby Injuries

The most common rugby injuries are the result of repetitive overuse of the body, typically muscle and joint injuries.

These injuries are known as ‘intrinsic injuries’; built-up over time due to pressure, exertion and stress placed on the body.

Intrinsic injuries are more prevalent in rugby players with structural imbalances and muscles or joint restrictions.

The other type of injuries are known as ‘extrinsic injuries’; these are typically the result of impact or when external force is applied directly to the body, such as forceful contact or collision with other players or the pitch itself.

It may be a surprise to find that intrinsic injuries are just as prevalent as extrinsic injuries in rugby. It has been calculated that muscle injuries involving the thighs and calves account for approximately 40% of all rugby injuries.

Recently QBE, an Australian Insurance company, compiled a list of the top 5 common rugby injuries which was made up of three extrinsic injuries and two intrinsic injuries.

Arguably, there is not a lot you can do to avoid these extrinsic injuries.

How can you plan for an awkward tackle that compromises your planted foot and ruptures your medial cruciate ligament?

You can plan for intrinsic injuries – and this is where osteopathy comes in.

Assessment and treatment can highlight a players’ imbalances and where a player may be prone to injury.

It could be down to having one leg longer than the other, muscle tightness or joint stiffness, but during assessment your osteopath will highlight these areas and recommend treatment and exercises to combat foreseeable injury.