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The Most Common Rugby-Related Injuries

Rugby demands the performance and the stamina of football combined with contact and struggle. This sport has great potential for injuries due to excessive play, such as tendonitis and bursitis. However, the most common injuries are traumatic injuries suffered during collisions with other players and on the ground.

Overuse Injuries

There are several ways in which a rugby player can get hurt, and most of the times, getting hurt is inevitable. Because in rugby, players run a lot, tendonitis in the knee or ankle, medial tibial stress syndrome (leg cramps) and bursitis are the most commonly seen overuse injuries. Although these are not usually considered “serious” injuries, they can negatively affect the performance or can lead to more complicated conditions if not dealt with promptly and properly by a qualified sports medicine professional. Good workout for stamina, stretching before a match and having a good, deep, muscular massage, will lower the possibilities of getting an overuse injury.

Trauma-Related Injuries

Because it is a sport full of collisions, traumatic injuries occur with great frequency in rugby. They can include broken bones, dislocated fingers and elbows, cuts, ligament and tendon sprains, tense muscles and deep muscle contusions. There has been an increase in facial fractures, especially of the nose. Knee injuries such as medial collateral ligament, cruciate ligament sprain, and meniscal tear, can occur from contact forces or rotational forces during a rapid change of direction. Shoulder injuries from contact with other players or the ground may include sprains of the acromioclavicular joint (AC separation) or dislocations of the glenohumeral joint. Because players do not wear any type of protective masks, cuts on the face are quite common.


As in other sports involving speed and contact, concussions can occur and actually do occur a lot in rugby. Confusion, forgetfulness, dizziness, blurred vision and headaches are just some of the possible symptoms of a concussion. Rugby players are traditionally a tough race and may try to continue or keep playing after a concussion. However, each player with a suspected concussion must be removed from the practice or from the match. It is very important that these players are properly evaluated and approved fit for the match by a qualified medical professional who is experienced and familiar with the new standards for concussion care.

How to Treat Rugby Injuries

When you start recovering from a rugby injury, there are some things to consider. As with most sports, regaining strength and flexibility after an injury is important for a successful rehabilitation. Neck, shoulders, hips, and strength of the base of your body, as well as the flexibility of the hamstrings and hip flexors, are important for general conditioning and can actually minimize the chances of an athlete suffering a secondary injury.

Because rugby is a sport that demands to move continuously, working to regain a high level of resistance also plays an important role in the effectiveness of a player returning from an injury, so, take your time for healing, start from low into getting back your normal strength and don’t hesitate to look for help from a doctor.