Early diagnosis, treatment and the appropriate progression of rehabilitation
following an injury is vital for any player who wants to return to training as soon
as possible whilst at the same time, minimizing the risk of their injury keeping
them out of competition any longer than needed.
Common injuries associated with Rugby include:
- Finger fractures/ hyperextension injury
- Wrist and hand injury
- Shoulder ligament/Acromioclavicular sprain
- Ankle sprains
- Knee rotation sprains
Whatever the type of injury – a cut, muscle or neural strain, ligament sprain or
fracture, many of the underlying stages of healing are the same. The correct
implementation of the principles of PRICED and No HARM are essential during
the initial 48-72 hours when managing acute injuries.
Always exclude serious injuries which may require medical attention, before
following the PRICED Regime.
- Symptoms to be wary of include (not exclusively):
- Severe pain which does not ease with time
- Sudden and severe swelling
- Deformity or misalignment of the injured part
- Severe loss of the ability to use the part
- Strong guarding of the affected limb
Guarding or crunching at the site of injury.
If you have any of the above or are worried, consult a medical practitioner
Once an injury has occurred, it is vital that the
- Affected body part is protected from further injury
and therefore, delayed healing.
- Abrasions / lacerations should be covered
- The injured part should be supported by taping,
bandaging, bracing, use of a sling.
4. Weight bearing / use of the body part should be
Resting the affected body part for 48-72 hours
after your injury is vital in order to prevent
further swelling, bleeding and damage to the
tissues. As a general rule, during the first 48-72
hours, if movement hurts then it’s probably not
good for the injury.
Apply ice to the area for 10-15 minutes every
hour for the first 48-72 hours after injury. Ice
helps prevent further bleeding, reduces
inflammation and pain and is helpful in
shortening recovery time. (Note : using ice for
longer than 15-20 minutes can cause the
opposite desired effect and result in increased
Use a gel pack from the freezer (obtainable at
most pharmacies) or use a bag of frozen peas.
Whatever you use, you should wrap it in a damp
tea towel. Avoid applying frozen objects directly
to the skin as it can cause an ice burn. Compression
Use either a wide, firm elasticated bandage or
some correctly sized elasticated tubing (tubigrip). Both
should be available from pharmacies. Apply
compression above as well as below the actual
area that is injured. When using an elasticated
bandage, it is important to start applying
compression further away from the body and
work closer, with slightly less compression the
closer you get to the body so that it doesn’t act
as a tourniquet.
Ensure that the bandage is not too tight by
checking for numbness, tingling or a blue tinge to
surrounding skin or nearby extremities.
If you can apply compression and ice at the same
time this will increase the effectiveness of both
these treatments of reducing extra bleeding and
swelling and promote faster healing.