So it’s that time of year and I thought I would write a rugby inspired post about the role of physiotherapists who work on the front line of the famous Rugby World Cup!
Let’s explore the fast paced, quick decision making, exciting positions of physiotherapists in one of the most well known global tournaments.
In a period of 6 weeks, 20 of the top teams in the world will be competing across 41 venues which means that over 500 rugby players are likely to require input from specialist trained physiotherapists to ensure effective training, game play and rehabilitation.
Physiotherapists require knowledge in strengthening, conditioning and sport science in order to provide advice and therapeutic input to manage players biomechanics, and technique. Not only does this aim to enhance players overall performance but also helps to prevent injury.
Physiotherapists can be required 24/7 to ensure players receive optimal rehabilitation so that they don’t lose their place on the team or miss out on game opportunities.
Physiotherapists have to adopt an individualised approach to each player; this involves close examination of past medical history, daily player monitoring and subsequent management to tailor loads and exposure to fitness. This ‘pre-hab’ technique can help to prevent injury and maximise the benefits of training.
Players are required to complete a daily questionnaire to assess pain, sleep quality and response to training so that physiotherapists can alter training programmes to meet individual needs
There is a great level of responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of players; Therapists are able to access and utilise advanced technological interventions and treatment modalities to treat minor injuries and prevent further progression. Players can have less than a week to recover from matches so therapeutic input needs to be timely, intense and effective to ensure full and safe recovery.
Working as a sports physiotherapist for international rugby teams is an incredible experience which provides endless opportunities to work alongside players and in collaboration with coaches and performance trainers.