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  1. Ronan Kearney1,
  2. Josh Heerey2,
  3. Angela Gisselman3,
  4. Eoin Cunniffe4
  1. 1 General Practice / Sports & Exercise Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 La Trobe University Sports and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  4. 4 Irish society of chartered physiotherapists, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ronan Kearney, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2, Ireland; ronankearney{at}

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Reduced severity of lumbo-pelvic-hip injuries in professional rugby union players following tailored preventative programmes

J Sci Med Sport 2018;21(3):274–279

Injury prevention programmes, also known as ‘prehabilitation’, aim to reduce the risk of injury occurrence. While the theory behind how these programmes influence injury risk is well founded, evidence for their efficacy is lacking. Would tailored preventative programmes to address specific strength or neuromuscular deficits be more effective in reducing injuries?

In this study of 28 rugby union athletes, the effectiveness of a tailored prehabilitation programme on lumbo-pelvic-hip (LPH) injuries was compared with a one-size-fits-all generic exercise programme. A fatigue-inducing strength testing protocol was used to separate athletes into three different exercise clusters. Athletes in each cluster were provided tailored prehabilitation routines that addressed specific strength deficits determined by hand dynamometry testing in a fatigued state. Athletes in the non-clustered group received global, generic hip abductor and adductor strengthening. Both programmes were delivered twice a week for 47 weeks.

While the tailored and generic prehabilitation programmes did not reduce the incidence of non-contact LPH injuries, these programmes did reduce their severity and overall prevalence. It also appeared that the tailored exercise programme …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

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