In sports, most injuries occur during contact or collision, such as the tackle. The concern about tackle is that they could have short-term, lifelong and life-threatening consequences.
Tackle – A Dangerous Move
In rugby union, tackle is an important component. However, it has the highest risk for injury for both the ball carrier and tackler. This move is responsible to 61% of all injuries, making it the most dangerous phase of play.
The tackler is at higher risk of injuries to the face and often acquires lacerations while the ball carrier usually acquires head and neck injuries and often acquires joint sprains. Forwards are more frequently injured than backs because they are more involved in physical collisions and tackles.
The impact of tackle is the most common cause of injury and the head is the most commonly affected. It can also cause lower limb injuries as a result of loading with the weight of another player. For instance, ankle injuries can be from stepping on another player’s foot or can also be a result of unequal forces during a tackle. In some cases, players with mismatched skills playing against each other could result in the better player being cut down by the lesser player.
Although head and neck injuries are being commonly associated with tackles, shoulder injuries are also responsible for lost days of sports participation at a professional level. Most tackles that result to shoulder injuries are high, front-on and occur at velocity.
Ban on Tackling
In the UK, more than 70 doctors and health experts are calling for a ban on tackling in school rugby games. In an open letter to ministers, medical officers and children’s commissioners, they say rugby is a high-impact collision sport and urged schools to move to touch rugby and non-contact rugby.
How to Minimise Tackle Injuries
Keep your head up. If your head is down during the tackle, your opponent will cause your head to be the first point of impact. If this happens, you might acquire severe concussions and neck injuries.
Tackle at the waist. Wrap your arms around your opponent’s waist and push him to the ground. This will less likely result in serious head injuries.
Lead with your shoulders. Rather than getting your head injured, make your shoulder the first point of impact. You can use your shoulder to drive your opponent backwards at the waist.
How Physiotherapy Helps
Physiotherapy provides “prehabilitation” such as exercises and teaching correct tackle techniques to minimise time lost.
During rehabilitation, your physiotherapist may recommend functional exercises which you can apply to the sport you’re returning to. This is where you’re performing exercises that replicate movements in that particular sport.
For example, if your sport is rugby, it’s important to perform movements simulating tackling or passing. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons adapt to the stresses and strains of the exercises that replicate the movements in rugby, therefore your body will easily adapt to the sport.
To prevent future injuries, your physiotherapist will recommend a series of stretches and exercises. This way, your body will be better prepared to play as you return to your sport. Your body can be able to endure the loads and stresses of the sport.
If you’re down with tackle injuries, better go see a Perth physiotherapist. Call us today on 9444 8729!