EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Quicker dead leg recovery

A common rugby injury is a "Charley horse", a dead leg, where a muscle is crushed against the bone. Good recovery management can help a player return faster to training and playing.

It is always valuable advice to suggest you consult a medical practioner or a sports injury specialist as soon as possible after any injury, particularly if there is serious pain and discomfort. In this case, it is important that the player uses crutches or other means to reduce the amount of weight put on the damaged leg.

Immediately after the injury

Apply ice to the bruise. Either use a medical ice pack directly onto the area, or frozen peas/crushed ice in a plastic bag wrapped in a tea towel or cloth to prevent frostbite. Apply the ice pack for 10 minutes, then remove for 10 minutes.

Repeat this cycle for as long as possible. (Realistically, you'll probably be able to continue this for about an hour only.)

After the initial treatment

If moving the leg is possible and there is only some slight discomfort, gently stretch the muscle. You may be able to apply some very light massage, but if the pressure causes pain, stop immediately.

Back to training

Subject to medical advice, the player could attempt training once the knee can be bent more than 90 degrees. Otherwise running will employ other muscles to protect the leg, leading to damage elsewhere.

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