Rugby Injuries, Rugby Injury
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Hamstring Strain & Rugby

The primary function of the Hamstrings is knee flexion (bringing the heel towards the buttocks) and hip extension (moving the leg to the rear).

A common rugby injury is a hamstring strain or "pull". When a player stretches the hamstring beyond its capabilities, the muscle will tear. Physiotherapist refer to this tear as a strain and is classed in three distinct categories:

• First degree Hamstring strains refer to damage to a few muscle fibres.
• Second degree strains are characterized by damage to a number of muscle fibres.
• Third degree strains result in severe damage to the muscle fibres.

How to Distinguish between different types of Hamstring Injuries

A first degree hamstring strain will result in the player feeling tightness and cramps in the hamstrings after training. The player may not complain of much pain but will feel tension when stretching, contracting and during short sprints. Bruising may appear after a few days.

In the case of a second degree strain the player will complain of immediate pain. The hamstrings may be tender to touch and stretching or contracting will not result in tightness but pain, bruising may appear after a few days.

Grade three Hamstring strains can be career threatening to players. Excruciating pain along with burning and stabbing sensations will be present. The player will not be able to do any weight bearing on the affected leg so walking will be near impossible. The muscle will be completely torn which may result in a visible lump just above the muscle tear.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be useful in showing the details of muscle injuries. An MRI scan is a special radiological test that uses magnetic waves to create pictures that look like slices of the hamstring. The MRI scan is painless and requires no needles or special dye.

 

How to Treat a Hamstring Injury

There are some effective ways in treating any hamstring injuries:

• Consult medical professionals
• Apply reusable ice packs to the hamstring to reduce swelling and pain (do not apply raw ice to the skin). The ice pack should be applied for twenty minutes every two hours
• Compression bandages can be used to reduce swelling.
• Use Thigh Supports or Compression Shorts during rehabilitation.

Immediate treatment for a Hamstring muscle injury should be the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Reusable hot and cold pack

 

Rest is vital for the injured hamstring to repair. The player may be advised to use crutches to keep weight completely off the injured leg.

Elevation will also help reduce swelling. The key to elevation is to raise and support the injured body part above the level of the heart. In the case of a hamstring injury, this requires lying down and supporting the leg up on pillows.

Your doctor may also prescribe a short course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to help relieve the swelling and pain.

Surgery is rarely needed for hamstring injuries. However, it may be needed for an avulsion to reattach the torn hamstring tendon to the pelvis. If surgery is delayed after an avulsion, the tendon may begin to retract further down the leg, and scar tissue may form around the torn end of the tendon. Both of these factors make it more difficult to do the surgery.

 

Preventing Hamstring Injury

• Care must be taken to avoid re injury of the muscle. When running the player will need to shorten the running stride. In the future you will need to warm up exceedingly carefully before doing any speed work.
• Cool down after training
• Have regular stretching for muscle length maintenance
• Strength Conditioning Programme for the hamstring muscles
• To retain muscle warmth, wear Thigh Support or Compression Shorts


Hamstring Stretch

Sit with your injured leg straight and your other leg bent. With your back straight and your head up, slowly lean forward at your waist. You should feel the stretch along the underside of your thigh. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat the stretch 6 to 8 times. This stretching exercise may be helpful for patello-femoral syndrome (pain under and around the kneecap), patellar tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon that connects the patella and tibia) and hamstring strain (overstretching or tearing of the muscles on the back of the thigh).


Rugby Rescue Recommends Hamstring Supports

5 Star Rating

The Vulkan Neoprene range features premium quality neoprene. This offers the best possible combination of support, compression, heat retention and comfort. Vulkan Neoprene has a unique spiral lining which is critical in removing excess sweat which avoids skin problems and is more comfortable to wear.

By retaining heat there is an increase in the elasticity of the soft tissues. This is helpful for the treatment and prevention of a thigh muscle injury. By increasing local blood flow, healing and recovery times can be reduced following a thigh injury. The Vulkan Thigh support can also be used as a preventive measure where there has been a history of thigh muscle injury. By warming the tissues and acting as a heat retainer it can reduce the risk of re-injury.

When to use it?

The Vulkan Thigh Support can be useful during acute and chronic hamstring and thigh muscle strains. The warmth provided by the neoprene support can also be very useful for the prevention of hamstring and thigh muscle strains. It is easy to apply and doesn't restrict movement, making it ideal for use in all sports.

 

View hamstring supports that provide warmth, compression and support to injured thigh & hamstring areas

 

 

 

View hamstring compression shorts

 


 

 

 

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