Shoulder injures in rugby players
If you play rugby then you’ll be no stranger to injuries. Whether you’re playing for a local team or are supported by the TASS or England programs you will understand that to be the best you are always pushing forward. Being the best means training smart and not always hard.
This post is for people who want to learn more about injury and help prevent future pain and dysfunction. This is for people who want to get back on the field and impress their mates because they aren’t limited by pain.
So let me tell you about Dave…
Dave is not his real name to protect identity but Dave’s story is interesting and typical of many rugby players.
Dave started his rugby career at the age of 5. He remembers the chilly November nights where he stood shivering in shorts that didn’t fit, the damp smell of mud as his mates huddled into the club house and of course the sharp taste of oranges at half time.
He wasn’t very good at 5. He would often be placed on the wing waiting for his moment, sprinting forward, snatching the ball to his chest only for it to slip greasily to the floor in his moment of glory. But with some determination and regular attendance Dave began to show promise.
As he progress through his teenage years he continued club rugby but had the opportunity to attend county too. Over recent years Dave had begun regularly attending the gym and had noticed weight gain and speed had both increased. Securing his position on the county side life couldn’t have been better…. Until.
He had just passed his 18th birthday and was enjoying life. Parties, sport, beer and fun. He was excited about attending preseason and had sent a video challenge via whatsapp to his mates. The video showed Dave with slightly darkened eyes on a sports field. He looked athletic and proceeded to complete suicide runs for the next 15 minutes. To show off he also completed 10 burpees between each set.
What Dave didn’t know is that lack of sleep is a huge risk factor for injury and that diet and alcohol consumption are also not a great combination. The following day Dave noticed a sharp, niggling pain in his shoulder. He didn’t worry as these types of shoulder irritations were common and he thought it would settled down.
After three months the pain was still bothering him and this became increasingly frustrating. What angered Dave the most is he could play but every hit, every pass, every push up following a tackle he was holding back as this pain gently reminded him of his injury.
Finally Dave decided to invest. He attended his GP who recommended he would be able to receive physio but there was a long waiting list. Dave couldn’t wait. With the money he had from his local catering job he looked on google and found us.
He booked in and we were able to see him within a few days in an evening slot so he could book in outside of his studies. He was pleased that he could park right outside so that he could get off quickly after our session to attend work.
With specialist physiotherapy we identified the problem and provided treatment and exercises to address muscle imbalances around his shoulder and work on sport specific training and conditioning so that the shoulder would be able to cope with the loads required by playing at this level. Dave couldn’t believe the difference after one session and was back again in a week to check the technique of his exercises. Dave received information on diet, sleep, training techniques, optimal loading and rest periods which would help to prevent future injury.
What you can learn from Dave?
- Sleep is extremely important for healing.
- Building up load gradually is important
- Lack of sleep increases your risk of injury
- Getting a clear idea of do’s and don’t can help you recovery quicker because you are less likely to irritate it.
- You will never play at your best if you’re in pain.
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Did you know that Nicole Jones is the founder of www.physiowizz.co.uk? This was created 6 years ago when she became frustrated with the amount of rubbish on the internet which was inaccurate and lacked evidence-based foundations. If you want to learn more about other conditions this is a resource created for healthcare professionals but does information on pathology, aetiology and possible treatments for each condition.
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