Shoulder injuries - Rugby Injuries

Shoulder injuries are the second most common form of injury in rugby; this is primarily due to the actions of tackling and falling onto hard ground.

Shoulder dislocation

Shoulder dislocations usually occur as a result of tackling somebody or falling awkwardly in rugby. The most common type of dislocation is the glenohumeral joint, although AC joint dislocations also occur. A glenohumeral joint dislocation occurs when the humeral head is forced forwards out of glenohumeral joint; this causes the ligaments surrounding the shoulder capsule to tear and is usually brought about by direct impact.

Symptoms of a shoulder dislocation

The most obvious symptom is extreme pain, which may be felt in the arms and back as well as the shoulder. Other symptoms include severely restricted movement and bruising.

Treatment for a dislocated shoulder

Initial treatment will involve placing the shoulder joint back into its original position. Following this, pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication will help to ease pain and reduce swelling and the shoulder should be immobilised with the use of a sling.

Recovering from a dislocated shoulder

Recovery may take several weeks and the player should not participate in demanding physical activity until the joint has healed fully; light exercises and physiotherapy will help to increase movement around the joint and build up strength in the surrounding muscles.

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