Recovery methods to prevent rugby injuries

What are the best ways to stay free from Rugby Injuries?

What are the best ways to stay free  from Rugby Injuries?

If you’ve ever been involved with rugby, you’re probably guilty of sitting down with a cold beer or two and putting your feet up after a tough Saturday afternoon match.

After all, you’ve just done a hard 80 minutes on the field so you deserve a bit of time to recover and the last thing you want to do now is foam roll over the knots in your legs or jump into an ice bath (really, we feel your pain). But, when it comes to a high impact sport like rugby, is a couple of beers and an afternoon catching up with the Pro 12 really the best way to keep yourself in good condition and free from injuries? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Since rugby is such a high impact sport, it’s not uncommon for players to carry multiple injuries and niggles through the season. So, in order to help keep you off the bench and on the field, we’ve put together some of our favourite recovery methods and treatments to keep you free from rugby injuries.

Sports Massage

Post event sports massage uses a variety of hands on techniques and applications of pressure to speed up recovery, prevent injury and reduce the stress and tension that can accumulate in soft tissues. If you’re already suffering from rugby injuries, a visit to a sports massage therapist can help with the rehabilitation of the injury and prevent it from reoccurring too.
Agile’s specially trained sports massage therapists will work with you to identify areas of pain and gradually work deeper into the tissues to alleviate tension in the affected muscles. They may also give you advice on further treatment or exercise to complete outside of your appointment that will help prevent the issue from reoccurring.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a self-massage stretching technique which involves using your bodyweight to slowly roll over targeted muscle groups. This method is an ideal way to recover at home, between training or treatment sessions and can really help to alleviate the dreaded DOMS! (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.) As well as speeding up recovery, it can also help increase blood flow throughout the body, increase range of motion in muscles and reduce the risk of injury. If you don’t have access to a foam roller, using hockey or lacrosse ball (or something similar) to release your muscles can be just as effective.

Ice Baths

Although they require a bit of motivation, jumping into an ice bath aids recovery by helping to repair minor tissue damage. The textbook name for an ice bath is ‘cold water immersion’ (not torture, believe it or not) and works by encouraging the constriction and re-dilation of the blood vessels in your muscles. As they constrict, blood is displaced from the muscles and then, when you warm up again (which we promise you will, eventually!), the blood vessels re-dilate and bring fresh, oxygenated blood to the muscles instead.


This last recovery technique is something that you do anyway. Sleep! When it comes to sports recovery, it’s one of the most overlooked and underrated methods but is especially important for those who get up early for work or university and get home late from training. According to The Sleep Foundation, adults should be getting 7-9 hours every night. To make sure you get to sleep in a healthy way, they recommend sticking to a sleep schedule, making sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and switching off all electronics.

So, there are plenty of recovery methods that can help to keep you free from rugby injuries and even if a post-match ice bath doesn’t sound as appealing as an ice cold post-match beer, it can make all the difference to how quickly you can get back on the pitch!

If you’re struggling with sore muscles and want some help and advice on how to recover quicker, book an appointment to see one of our sports massage therapists. They can use expert techniques to help release muscular tension and will be able to provide you with information and exercises to promote faster post-match recovery and prevent all types of rugby injuries.

Written by Samantha Walker, Sports Massage Therapist

Samantha graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Conditioning, Rehabilitation, and Massage.

Read more about Samantha

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