Most Common Rugby League Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Although the Bulldogs fell short this year, with the grand final only a day away, we can't wait to see who goes down as the 2020 premiers. Despite the excitement, as a team of physiotherapists we know that these high intensity grand finals as well as regular games of rugby league can lead to injuries that if untreated can lead to long-term implications.


So what are the figures?

Between 2016-2017 almost 60,000 Australians were admitted to hospital as a result of sports related injuries, 32% of which were related to football sports. It is estimated that out of a group of 100,000 players, 678 will be admitted to hospital due to some form of injury, most of these males between the ages of 25 to 36. Injuries are also more common in competitive and professional type rugby league.



What are the most common injuries?

Injuries to the head and neck as well as those of the lower limbs are the most familiar within our clinic. These injuries are most commonly muscular in nature. These include but are not limited to ankle sprains, hamstring tears and jumper's knee.


Ankle Sprains are caused when the ligament is forced to move beyond its normal capacity. In a rugby league environment, they are usually caused when quickly changing direction to avoid a tackle. In some cases, a poorly upkept field with ditches and uneven ground can also cause these injuries.


Hamstring Tears occur with a sudden burst of movement, usually when changing direction of quickly progressing from a jog to a sprint.


Jumper's Knee as its name suggests, jumper's knee is caused by excessive jumping and running and is characterised by a micro tears in the tendon.


What else causes these injuries?

Due to the high contact nature of rugby league, these injuries are mostly caused due to striking and colliding with another player or falling over. This doesn't mean that you are going to get injured every time that you collide with someone, but certain risk factors may increase the likelihood. These include;

  • Fatigue

  • Improper Equipment

  • No Warm-up or Cool-down

  • Lack of Training

  • Poor Rehab After Previous Injuries

The best prevention methods...

Prior to your games it is vital that you are warming up through stretches and light exercises. This prepares the body for the exercise ahead and conditions the body to recover faster. As well, it stretches the muscles, promoting flexibility prior to the game, meaning the chance of injury is significantly reduced.


It is important to remember that if you are injured or have pre-existing injuries you should see a physiotherapist prior to participating in physical activity. For more information or to make a booking, contact us at 9793 3119, visit our website or book online.


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