An analysis of injury profiles and management strategies utilised by chiropractic students at the 2015 Durban 'Rugby Rush Tournament'
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Background Rugby union is one of South Africa’s most popular sports; it requires high levels of skill and fitness and is played at a high intensity and speed which allows for a greater risk of injury. The high risk of injury is said to be due to the nature of the physicality of rugby. It is because of this high risk of injury that several adaptations of rugby have since developed which rely more on speed and agility than physicality. These adaptations include tens or ten-a-side rugby, sevens or seven-a-side rugby and finally touch rugby, which is played with six players a-side. Each adaptation has its own set of rules and is played differently to the traditional rugby union or fifteen-a-side rugby. Hence, in these adaptations the physicality is said to decrease with a resultant increase in demand for speed and agility. The reduction of physicality and increase in the need for speed and agility would imply that the nature of injuries sustained will be different to those sustained in traditional rugby union. Objectives To develop a profile of injuries that describe the type, anatomical location and mechanism of injuries sustained in tens, sevens and touch rugby; to compare the injuries sustained between the three groups; and, to analyse management strategies utilised by chiropractic students at the 2014 Durban ‘Rugby Rush Tournament’. Additionally this study aimed to provide recommendations to the injury reporting form utilised. Method This study was a retrospective, quantitative, descriptive study based on the Chiropractic Student Sports Association’s report form in order to produce a retrospective cohort analysis of injury and treatment profiles. Participants who made use of the chiropractic treatment facility were required to complete the informed consent section of the injury reporting form. The chiropractic intern was required to complete the remainder of the form pertaining to the participant, complaint and treatment information. This study was limited to event participants to allow for subgroup analysis. The forms were then captured and analysed. Results The data collected consisted of a total of 345 individual patient forms which indicated 626 visits for a total of 733 complaints. The average participant age was 24 ± 5.58. The study found muscle strains (41.5%), SI Syndrome (17.6%) and Joint sprains (15.0%) to be the most frequent diagnoses. A history or previous injury or trauma was reported in 18.7% and 7.40% respectively. Acute injuries accounted for 64.3% and 35.7% were recorded as chronic in nature. The most frequent mechanism of injury was that of overuse (81.9%) and trauma accounted for 17.2% of injuries. The lumbar region (26.1%), thigh (20.7%) and shin/calf (15.6%) were the most commonly reported regions of complaint. Manipulation (58.8%), massage (32.0%) and stretch PNF (27.9%) were the most frequently used treatment protocols. Strapping was utilised in 21.1% of injuries of which 5.20% was applied to the muscle and 13.6% was applied to the joint. No comparison was made using the sevens subgroup as there were insufficient records, thus only tens and touch players were compared. A borderline non-significant difference (p = 0.057) was noted between the type of player and the history of previous trauma. Tens players were more likely to have a history of trauma compared to touch players. A significant difference (p = 0.001) was found between the type of athlete and mechanism of injury. Overuse was more common in touch players whereas trauma was more common in tens players. Due to statistical inconsistencies no significance tests were applicable to compare the type of player and region of complaint. Recommendations were proposed in order to avoid this in future research. Conclusion This study provides a base of knowledge regarding the injuries that were presented to the chiropractic treatment facility at the 2014 Durban ‘Rugby Rush Tournament’ and the management strategies utilised by the chiropractic interns at the event. This research provides insight into injury profiling of tens, sevens and touch rugby players. There were several recommendations proposed for future researchers in order to expand on this field of knowledge.