Journal Watch – Injury Prevention in Rugby and Other Collision Sports

For today’s journal watch we are going to be looking at the how to prevent injury in impact sports, with the help of the cutting edge piece of research from Sports Medicine, titled; Exercise-Based Interventions for Injury Prevention in Tackle Collision Ball Sports: A Systematic Review. If you would like to view the full journal piece you can do so via this link.

From The Abstract

The injury burden in rugby union is relatively high compared to other team sports. Therefore rugby would benefit by having effective injury prevention programmes. Exercise-based interventions have successfully reduced injuries in soccer studies, but evidence on exercise-based interventions in tackle collision sports, such as rugby, is limited.

Article Overview

The study looks at American, Australian and Gaelic football, rugby union and rugby league and doesn’t look at a particular focus of the participants’ age or sex. Exercise-based interventions have successfully reduced injuries in football (soccer), but evidence on exercise-based interventions in tackle collision sports is limited.

The study looked at, balance training, Nordic drops, and plyometric training and how they were associated with decreases in injury risk.

In Conclusion

The studies that the journal article looked at found that 7 out of the 9 showed a real positive impact on injury prevention. However, the writers are keen to point out that because there were different age groups and in different sports- so they are not confident about the results.

The two other studies were a big talking points also; despite being well designed and having the best quality data, they showed that there was little to no positive effect on sport injury for impact sports when exercise-based interventions are taken into account.

Based on this it is really tough for them to suggest there is evidence that it causes a positive impact. That being said, there may be further studies in the future that do take a different and more effective approach. Interestingly, the study involving children playing American Football showed the best results, so perhaps there is benefit for younger athletes.