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The third most common rugby injury
Post date: 22 Sep 2015

I'm Thomas Skinner, senior musculoskeletal physiotherapist at Medway Community Healthcare (MCH). With the rugby world cup underway, I’ll be sharing some top tips to help keen players and beginners prevent common rugby injuries. This week I'm looking at a thigh haematoma. Hamstring assessment

What is it?

A haematoma is caused by a direct blow to the affected area. It is essentially a severe bruise where damage to the blood vessels causes blood to leak around the tissue and form a large blood clot, hence the dark red and purple colour.

Why does it occur?

As rugby is a contact sport these injuries are bound to happen.

What can be done to prevent it?

It is very difficult to prevent without changing what makes rugby such a great game. Early implementation of P.O.L.I.C.E (Protect, Optimum Loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation) principles can reduce recovery time and should be implemented as soon as possible.

Protect: may need strapping or taping to prevent excessive movement.

Optimum Loading: Appropriate amount of movement and weight bearing to stimulate the healing tissue to be strong and functional, whilst ensuring that there is enough protection and rest for the injury to heal effectively and for your symptoms to improve. (So taking out the Rest section of the old RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation - principle)

Ice: Apply ice to the affected area, use a damp towel between the skin and the ice to prevent ice burn. Leave on for 10 minutes at a time, check for redness every 2-3 minutes.

Compression: if excessive swelling you can use a stretchy bandage to add compression. Again check every minute to assess the circulation of the leg. (Change in colour)

Elevation: Elevating the injured area so that it is above the heart reduces the flow of blood to the area and reduces swelling.

If you would like more information on returning to sports following a sports injury or preventing future injuries, ask your GP or health professional to refer you to the MCH physiotherapy team, where we will be happy to help.

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