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Physio - Tag Rugbys Best Friend

Tag rugby has become a hugely popular pastime in the Summer Months here in Ireland. Despite the limited amount of physical contact in the game, injuries are still common. This blog post is  the first excerpt in an article written by the Physio Company’s Director of Medical Services, Anne McGoldrick.

Hand injuries in tag rugby are quite common. The good news is that most are not serious but it is important to remember that, with fingers and thumb injuries, early diagnosis is crucial to ensure that you do not suffer any long-term effects. Most of the tag rugby hand injuries we see are from catching or snagging the fingers or thumbs in shorts or jerseys when pulling a tag off the opponent. The most common are:

1) Thumb Sprain

Sprained Thumb is often referred to as “Skier’s Thumb”, due to the prevalence of this injury during skiing. It refers to damage to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament at the base of the thumb. However this injury is not exclusive to skiers and often occurs in tag where there is sufficient force applied to the thumb that takes it in a direction furthest away from the hand.

In severe Sprained Thumb, there is often immediate thumb swelling and bruising may develop in a few days. In cases that have not been diagnosed early, there may be a thickening of the joint with chronic thumb swelling. The joint at the base of the thumb will feel lax and unstable. The ability to pinch/ grip small objects between the thumb and the index finger is often severely impaired because of this instability.

Diagnosis can be made by physical examination by a Chartered Physiotherapist. Ice should be applied for 15 minutes, 3 times a day for 2 days to reduce inflammation and then a physio rehabilitation programme is begun. Electrotherapy can be effective in the early stages to promote faster healing and reduce pain. Mobilisation and deep tissue frictions are often used to aid ligament repair and  help restore function and mobility. Thumb strength and dexterity can be improved by using hand therapy balls, grip strengthening devices and therapeutic putty. Thumb sprains tend to resolve in around four to six weeks with proper management and your physio will clear you for return to sport as soon as possible, often with taping to protect the joint.

More to follow soon…

By Anne McGoldrick, Director of Medical Services – The Physio Company
Chartered Physiotherapist BSc Physio, MISCP

More Info

Here is a risk of sustaining a potentially debilitating hand injury while playing tag rugby so early diagnosis and proper physiotherapy management is essential to minimize these risks.

If you are not sure whether Physio is right for your injury or condition, just look at the website or call The Physio Company on 1890 PHYSIO (1890 749746) or email Mention this tag rugby article and you will get a free 15 minute assessment with one of our Physio’s in a clinic close to you.Article Source:

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