When muscle strains come in to mind, so could time in the stands, but there is actually quite a few things you can keep in mind to get the fastest recovery.
There are two types of strain depending on how you picked it up:
Chronic strains that result from overuse (prolonged, repetitive movement) of muscles and tendons, or inadequate rest during intensive training
- Acute strains that result from a direct blow to the body, overstretching, or excessive muscle contraction.
Both types of strain occur regularly in Rugby, but acute strains are the more common of the two, with you making solid contact throughout the 80 minutes. This can begin to take it’s tole on your body, and dealing with injuries sustained from either overuse or direct contact can be a pain.
Assessing your injury is the first step you should take to making a recovery, as your treatment solely depends on the severity of your strain. You can assess the extent of your injury through trying to pin point whether your injury is a mild strain, moderate strain or a severe strain.
Mild Strain: Your muscle or tendon is slightly stretched or pulled. You can tell if you have a mild strain as there will be a slight tightness and pain in the muscle.
Moderate Strain: Your muscle is overstretched or slightly torn. This could result in some loss of function, meaning your mobility will be limited.
Severe Strain: The muscle is almost or completely torn. If your injury is severe, you will most likely be able to tell from the pain endured and the look of the muscle. If the muscle is ruptured, you should expect to see bruising and swelling.
If you are lucky enough to have a team doctor to hand, get yourself down to them no matter the severity of the injury to assess your steps to recovery. Although, if you do not, then only go to a doctor in a case of a moderate or severe strain, as these injuries come with a more strict recovery regime and sometimes even surgery.
If you do not have a doctor to hand or you are suffering from a strain, then here are the simple steps to getting back to match fitness:
- Rest, Ice the muscle, elevation.
- You can add very light massages to your routine if the strain is mild as this will help you loosen the muscle and gain back any lost function in the muscle.
- After you have applied ice to the muscle, it is recommended that you strap up the muscle to add support and help prevent any further damage.