Rugby Injuries

  • 26 October 2019
  • Physio Form

This years Rugby World Cup certainly engaged the Nation...

It only takes a few seconds of watching rugby before you realise why there might be injuries involved. Rugby is a highly competitive sport, where players place an incredible demand on their anatomical structures. Due to the frequent physical contact and constant high speed running, the incidence of injury is relatively high in comparison with most other sports, with hamstring strains, concussion and shoulder sprains the most common. 

UK Sport anticipates an increase in the uptake in Rugby following this years world cup and it’s for that reason we have decided to share our knowledge with you on the prevention & treatment of such injuries. 

Hamstring Strains 

Injury Fact: Approximately 6 hamstrings strains occur every thousand hours of playing time! 

Mechanism of Injury Clinical Presentation Normal Healing time 
High Speed Running Acute pain in the back of the thigh, often causing a limp 4-12 weeks depending on severity


Prevention: Stronger & Longer Hamstrings = Less Hamstring tears - Exercises such as the Deadlift (pictured below) & Nordic Hamstring Curls are the key!


  • RICE- Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation 
  • Soft tissue treatments 
  • Physiotherapy led exercised based rehabilitation 


Fact: Concussion was the highest report injury in Premiership rugby 6 seasons in a row from the 2010/11 season to the 2016/17 season accounting for 25% of injuries!

Mechanism of Injury  Clinical Presentation Normal Healing time 
Direct blow to the head or whiplash type injury Confusion, dizziness, loss of balance, blurred vision, headaches & nausea Etc Minimum of 21 days


Prevention: Education on tackling technique & early recognition- if in doubt sit them out! 


  • A Physical examination from a medically qualified professional - this may be a physiotherapist or GP 
  • A complete rest from competitive sport for a minimum of 21 days
  • A graduated return to sport program led by a medically qualified professional 

Shoulder Sprains (AC Joint) 

Injury Fact: There is no correlation between the level of play (professional vs amateur), and the incidence of shoulder injuries (Above 9 per 1000 hours of play!).

Mechanism of injury  Clinical Presentation Normal Healing time
Direct impact to the shoulder, through tackling or landing Visible step deformity, localised pain, loss of shoulder movement 3-16 weeks depending on severity


Prevention: Due to the physical nature of rugby, it is very difficult to prevent shoulder sprains. Shoulder pads & correct tackling technique provide some advantage! 


  • Early X-ray- This helps to decipher the correct medical intervention 
  • RICE- Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation 
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound 
  • Physiotherapy led exercised based rehabilitation 
  • Surgical intervention may be required for high grade injuries

Here at Physio Form, we specialise in accelerated rehabilitation of sports injuries. Through early intervention and specialist treatment techniques we will make sure you're back playing your sport as quickly as possible. Book Online Today!

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