Osteopathy & Rugby Part VI: What are extrinsic rugby injuries?

Extrinsic injuries occur through impact or trauma and, unlike intrinsic injuries, cannot be prevented. Rugby injuries are seen to be most extrinsic injuries due to the competitive, physical nature of the sport.

Examples of these injuries are as follows:

The front thigh muscles (quadriceps) are particularly liable to direct trauma when hit by an opposing rugby player’s shoulder during a heavy tackle.

Ligament injuries to the knee, ankle, shoulder and neck may occur with sudden change of direction, as in sidestepping or when tackled simultaneously by multiple rugby players. Tackling or being tackled is the cause of half of all injuries during match play.

Players on the receiving end of the tackle can sustain fractures of the lower limb, knee cartilage tears and ligament damage, whereas shoulder dislocations, strains, and sprains may arise in players who are doing the tackling.

Falling on the tip of the shoulder can damage the acromioclavicular joint or fracture the clavicle. Shoulder dislocation may be caused by diving with the arms outstretched to touch down.

Your ostoepath can still help with these injuries through a course of tailored rehabilitation through manual treatment and exercises.

Source: Dr Guy Ashburner, Health24, updated August 2011.