By Jackson Hooper (Physiotherapist)
In my experience in rugby league, first as a player, and now as a physiotherapist, I know how important physiotherapy is in diagnosing and managing injuries – from a recreational level to a professional level. Injuries that are left untreated are at increased risk of reoccurring or causing ongoing problems, meaning more time on the sidelines. Here are some of the most common injuries I see in rugby league players.
- Ankle sprains
Ankle sprains are common in football, when a player “rolls their ankle”, either inwards or outwards. There is almost always a tear through one of the many ligaments of the ankle. This sort of injury can be complicated if the player is involved in a tackle and there is external weight coming down on the ankle.
It is important to diagnose an ankle sprain to rule out an ankle fracture using the Ottawa ankle x-ray rules, while also bearing in mind the increasing prevalence of “high” ankle sprains, also known as syndesmosis injuries, which are more serious. Without proper treatment of an ankle sprain, your ankle can become weakened, which can lead to ongoing problems such as chronic instability or pain.
- The AC joint
The acromioclavicular joint, better known as the AC joint of the shoulder is commonly injured in contact between players or with the ground, particularly with a direct force to the tip of shoulder.
This injury is important to diagnose as there are 6 classifications of injury, each with a different amount of separation of the joint. The more severe the injury, the longer time it will take to return to sport, and the more important physiotherapy becomes, to ensure full recovery.
Knee injuries are extremely common in all contact sports, and it is pivotal to gain an accurate diagnosis for correct treatment. Some injuries like an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture or a bucket handle meniscus tear may require a review with an orthopaedic specialist as surgery may provide the best management.
Other structures which may be affected in the knee include the kneecap (patella), the medial and lateral collateral ligaments (MCL/LCL) and less commonly the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Physiotherapy is important for all of these injuries as it will help you to recover fully and return to play with less chance of re-injury.
If you have an injury, rugby league related or not, and you would like to come in for assessment and treatment, I am available Monday-Friday from 11:30am to 7:00pm and every second Saturday.
Jackson has a keen interest in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal and sporting injuries, and getting you back to training/playing as soon as possible. He has experience working with local sporting teams in rugby league, union and football including the Brisbane Roar Football Club and Normanby Rugby League Club in the Brisbane A grade competition.
768 Stafford Rd, Everton Park, QLD 4053