Tips to Prevent Injuries in Athletes

Raj Suppiah

Raj Suppiah PT, BHScHons, MScPT, Cert. MDT, Cert. Sport PT

Registered Physiotherapist
Certified Sport Physiotherapist
Vestibular Physiotherapist

Physical wellness is integral to the performance of rugby players. With all the fast-paced action and frequency of collisions; injuries, aches and pains are a common occurrence!

That’s when the professionals come in! Foundation Physiotherapy & Wellness is proud to work with the Toronto Arrows and the rugby community to provide the best physical rehabilitation experience!

Below is a graph showing the most common areas injured during rugby. Typical injuries include ankle and knee ligament sprains, hamstring (back of leg) and rotator cuff (shoulder) muscle strains, shoulder dislocations and neck injuries/concussions.

The team of physios, massage therapists and chiropractors have put together 6 tips to minimize risk of injury to the above areas, reduce the long-term effects and returning to play faster.

  1. Improve your Body Mechanics and Movement: When you use your body so much, you should use it properly! Poor body mechanics during training, tackling or even playing can create imbalances which increase the risk of injury. At Foundation, we use many assessment tools, such as Functional Movement Screening, to determine how you can move better.
  2. Warm Up!: Warming up goes beyond traditional “stretching.” In fact, depending on your movement abilities, each individual may require a customized pre-game program. A physiotherapist can help you improve your warm up and fitness routine.
  3. Strengthening: Rugby players are strong, why do we need to strengthen more?! At the rate you are playing, you are probably creating increased usage of your joints and ligaments. Yes, you are strong, but you should be constantly strengthening the muscles around your joints, not only to help recovery following games, but to reduce the strain of overused muscles.
  4. Optimize Recovery: Sure, right after the game, you want to grab a few beers with your mates! Go ahead, but on those off days, you can optimize the circulation, reduce soreness of the muscles and prevent injuries by going for treatments such as massage therapy, fascial stretch therapy or acupuncture.
  5. Take Care of those Injuries!: As a rugby player, you need your body to be in working order for the next big game or tournament. If left untreated, nagging injuries, aches or pains can lead to more complicated injuries. The smallest injuries affect your performance. Physiotherapists and chiropractors are experts in assessing and treating the condition so you can return to play faster, and better!
  6. Don’t Ignore Head and/or Neck Symptoms: Rugby is a full contact sport which can unfortunately lead to collision of the head and neck. Symptoms such as dizziness, ringing in the ears, confusion or even feeling ‘off-balanced’ can imply there may be an injury to the neck or a minor concussion. Early vestibular rehabilitation (treatment of vertigo, balance and dizziness disorders) is crucial to addressing these symptoms and strengthening the neck.

Foundation Physiotherapy has all the comprehensive services above to best treat athletes. Alongside our specialized healthcare services, we are focused on providing the best client experience inside our clinics. Our client experience reps are always smiling, hot coffee, tea or water is always available, and you can earn points towards a free massage! We believe this enhanced experience fuels you to become a better rugby athlete!