Article Text

PDF
Training volume and soft tissue injury in professional and non-professional rugby union players: a systematic review
  1. Shane Ball,
  2. Mark Halaki,
  3. Rhonda Orr
  1. Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rhonda Orr, Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW 1825, Australia; rhonda.orr{at}sydney.edu.au

Abstract

Aim To investigate the relationship between training volume and soft tissue injury incidence, and characterise soft tissue injury in rugby union players.

Design A systematic search of electronic databases was performed. The search strategy combined terms covering: training volume and injury, and rugby union, and players of all levels.

Data sources Medline, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, Embase, PubMed.

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Studies were included if they reported: male rugby union players, a clear definition of a rugby union injury, the amount of training volume undertaken by participants, and epidemiological data for soft-tissue injuries including the number or incidence.

Results 15 studies were eligible for inclusion. Overall match and training injury incidence ranged from 3.3 to 218.0 injuries/1000 player match hours and 0.1–6.1 injuries/1000 player training hours, respectively. Muscle and tendon as well as joint (non-bone) and ligament injuries were the most frequently occurring injuries. The lower limb was the most prevalent injury location. Injury incidence was higher in professional rugby union players than non-professional players. Contact events were responsible for the greatest injury incidence. For non-contact mechanisms, running was responsible for the highest injury incidence. Inconsistent injury definitions hindered reliable comparison of injury data. The lack of reporting training volumes in hours per player per week limited the ability to investigate associations between training volume and injury incidence.

Conclusions A higher level of play may result in higher match injury incidence. Muscle and tendon injuries were the most common type of soft tissue injury, while the lower limb was the most common location of injury in rugby union players, and running was responsible for the highest injury incidence during non-contact events.

  • Training load
  • Football
  • Contact sports
  • Muscle injury
  • Sporting injuries

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Tweet: Injury incidence is higher in professional rugby union players than non-professional players and running is responsible for highest match injuries sustained during non-contact events.

  • Twitter Follow Rhonda Orr at @DrRhondaOrr

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Warm up
    Philip Glasgow