While rugby and American football are definitely not the same, they do share some key features with each other. This is exactly why the athletes involved in both the games also experience some of the same injuries as well. If you or anyone close to you play any of the two sports, here are a few injuries you should be aware of while playing because these are highly dangerous contact sports; a fact that people often forget.
A concussion is, by definition, an injury to the brain. It is caused when the brain hits the skull with significant force. The extent, effect, and damage caused by a concussion depend totally on the intensity of the impact which caused it. Now, concussions can even be deadly and, sometimes, athletes don’t even realize how bad it is until it’s too late. Never keep playing after a concussion and don’t go back on to the field until your doctor gives you the permission to do so. Aside from becoming unconscious, which doesn’t always happen, some common symptoms of concussions include the following.
- Temporary amnesia
- A headache and pressure inside the head
- Balancing problems
- Fatigue, confusion, and dizziness
- Ringing in the ears
- Nausea and throwing up
- Speech problems
- Impaired cognitive and motor functions
Myelomalacia typically refers to softening of the spine and both football players and rugby players are at high risk of developing it, alongside other full-contact sports such as ice hockey, wrestling, boxing, martial arts, etc. Any activity that involves getting hit repeatedly and dropping on the ground with impact can give rise to myelomalacia, and since both rugby and American football are pretty much based on those two concepts, the athletes in both sports are at high-risk of developing the disease over time. It can even cause death due to asphyxiation if not treated properly, due to a paralyzed respiratory system. Some of the early symptoms of myelomalacia are a loss of motor function in the fingers and toes, high blood pressure, reduced sensitivity to pain, gradual paralysis, numbness, etc.
An extremely painful, but also very common injury experienced by sportsmen is the dislocated shoulder, where the upper portion of the humerus, aka the “ball”, comes out of the scapula, known as the “socket.” As a result, the shoulder becomes dislocated, therefore, disabling the athlete. This happens particularly when the arm is rotated outwards with force during a collision or a nasty fall. Surgery might be necessary if there are associated injuries such as fractures and ligament tears, or if the injury doesn’t heal naturally within a few months. In any case, the first thing the doctor, chiropractor or the physiotherapist will do is pop the ball back into the socket. Getting back to full strength will take time and rehabilitation.
There are. of course, tons of other injuries that plague athletes in these two sports, such as fractured bones, torn ligaments, other dislocated joints, broken teeth and broken noses. Nevertheless, these three are some of the most serious and common injuries that every aspiring athlete should look out for.