Objectives: To investigate if ligamentous laxity increases seasonal incidence of injury in male first division club rugby players, and to determine if strength protects against injury in hypermobile and tight players.
Methods: Fifty one male first division club rugby players were examined for ligamentous laxity using the Beighton-Horan assessment and graded with an overall laxity score ranging from 0 (tight) to 9 (hyperlax). Each participant was classified into a group determined by their laxity score: tight (0–3), hypermobile (4–6), or excessively hypermobile (7–9). The incidence of joint injuries was recorded prospectively throughout the rugby season and correlated with laxity score. Differences between the groups were analysed.
Results: The overall prevalence of generalised joint hypermobility was 24% (12/51). The incidence of injuries was significantly higher in hypermobile (116.7 per 1000 hours) than tight (43.6 per 1000 hours) players (p = 0.034). There were no significant differences in peak strength between the hypermobile and tight groups.
Conclusions: The laxity of the players may explain the differences in injury rates between these groups. Peak strength does not protect the hypermobile joint against injury. It appears that hypermobility may cause an increase in the injury rate of male first division club rugby players.
- ligamentous laxity
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