The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday…

I’m sure some of my friends think I’m mad spending a Saturday morning on the side of an often wet, cold and windy rugby pitch but for 9 seasons I have loved being an integral part of the rugby team.

As a pitch side rugby physio due to the nature of the game there will always be injuries to deal with but my top 10 words of wisdom for players are the following…

  1. Always wear a properly fitted gum shield…I have had to send several players to an emergency dentist. Don’t risk it!
  2. Serious injuries often happen with poor tackling positions so practice, practice, practice! Even if you have been playing for years. This is especially important when returning to the game or having been off with an injury.
  3. Make sure you follow a structured training regime involving strength, flexibility, core stability, balance and endurance exercises. All elements are important for all positions. If you’re not sure what you should be doing discuss with your physio.
  4. Optimal nutrition=optimal performance. Also work out when you will eat before kick off time so you have adequate fuel on board.
  5. Nothing beats a good night’s sleep for quick reaction times needed for the game.. I have toured extensively with the rugby team and the correlation between not having appropriate sleep and injury is high.  
  6. Make sure you warm up gradually and effectively. I have had several players who have injured themselves during the warm up when they have too quickly gone into specific rugby drills.  
  7. If you get injured on the pitch, the steps you take immediately afterwards can have a big impact on how quickly and how well you recover. So don’t soldier on, be sensible and PRICE your injury.
  8. If you have had known or suspected concussion it is very important that you follow the IRBS guidelines of Gradual Return To Play under the guidance of a medical practitioner http://www.irbplayerwelfare.com/?documentid=3
  9. Working on your running technique and including power work and sprint sessions like Mike Brown has reported to have done to get his preferred full-back position for the Eng v Aus International can make a massive difference. Book in a running analysis with us and see how we can help you.
  10.  If you have unfortunately had an injury or your are noticing a niggle whilst playing- get a physio session booked asap. Contact Julia.petersbelk@backinactionuk.com or tweet me @JuliaPhysio for advice.

 

 

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