On average a Rugby club will have 18% of their players unavailable for selection as a consequence of match injuries.

The 2017 Six Nations Championship will be the 18th series of the annual northern hemisphere Rugby union championship.

Including the competitions previous incarnations as the Home Nations Championship and the Five Nations championship it will be the 123rd edition of the tournament.

The origins of Rugby are unclear but it’s fair to say that many Rugby playing nations had their own version of football that allowed ball handling and scrummaging.

The modern game of Rugby football owes it’s all to the 17 year old football player William Webb Ellis, who in November 1823 picked up the ball and ran with it.

Rugby is a fast moving, high intensity sport that is fraught with injuries. Here’s a few facts:

  • 25% of Rugby players are likely to be injured during the season.
  • each player will average between 20-40 tackles per game.
  • injuries in Rugby are 3 times higher than in football.
  • more injuries occur in the second half.
  • hookers and flankers sustain the most injuries.
  • 40% of injuries are muscle strains.
  • sprained ankles represent 1 in 7 of all Rugby injuries.

1. Sprained Ankle

The ankle is a hinge joint that allows plantarflexion and dorsiflexion (forwards and backwards). It also has the ability to evert and invert (outwards and inwards). This increase in mobility allows a degree of instability. This instability is strengthened by three ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Collectively, they are known as the Lateral Ligaments.

AnkleRugby places tremendous stress on these lateral ligaments. Injury to the lateral ligaments can be graded from 1-3. 1 being a few torn fibres with local tenderness and swelling. A grade 3 can amount to dislocation and complete rupture. Its not surprising this is one of the most common injuries in Rugby.

According to a 2008 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine the most common reported injury in Rugby during matches and training was the lateral ligament of the ankle.

 

  • together with Achilles Tendon injuries, they accounted for more than half of all injuries.
  • the incidence was highest in 2nd row forwards
  • more than a 1/4 were recurrences.  

A 2004 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine of first division Rugby players found that the prevalence of generalised joint hypermobility was 24%. This means that the incidence of injury is significantly higher in hypermobile ankles.

 

2. Calf Muscle Tear

This is a common injury among all who play sport. Whilst many people will injure their calf muscle stepping off a kerb, it’s particularly prevalent in sports involving quick bursts of acceleration or sudden changes in direction.

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The calf muscle is a group of muscles at the back of the lower part of the leg. The most superficial is Gastrocnemius which has two heads, lateral  and medial Gastrocnemius. Along with Soleus they form a collective known as  Triceps Surae. They join as one via the Achilles Tendon to the Calcaneum at the back of the heel.

The function of the calf muscle is to plantar flex (heel raise) the foot and stabilize the ankle joint.

During injury people will often feel the tear or hear a pop and think that they have been hit on the back of the leg. Pain is immediate, swelling and bruising quickly follow.

Like most muscles there is a very generous blood supply to the calf and most injuries will repair, left alone 6-12 weeks is average. The danger of letting the body do it’s thing (and it is a wonderful thing) is the build up of scar tissue. Less flexible than the elastic tissue of muscle, scar tissue is like filling a pot hole in the road, it does the job, fills the gap but doesn’t look great and doesn’t last. 

At froc we are confident we can do a better thing. We feel with the right advice and treatment approach we can accelerate your recovery and promote good function. Often doing the right thing early in your injury will improve your prognosis. 

There are four osteopaths at froc covering six days a week, with early morning, evening and weekend appointments available. 

Be it Rugby, tennis, running or stepping off a kerb, if you injure your calf we can help.

Tel. 01342 823722 or email admin@79.170.44.81