Reduced severity of lumbo-pelvic-hip injuries in professional Rugby Union players following tailored preventative programmes

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to tailor lumbo-pelvic-hip (LPH) injury reduction programmes in professional rugby union players based on screening data and examine its effectiveness.

Design: Prospective case controlled study.

Methods: Twenty-eight professional rugby union players were screened pre- and immediately post- the YO-YO intermittent recovery level 1 test using six hip and groin strength tests (adductor squeeze at 0o, 60o and 90o, prone hip extension, abductor, adductor hand held dynamometry). The changes in hip and groin measures, were analysed using hierarchical cluster analysis. Three clusters emerged and a tailored LPH injury reduction programme was administered for each cluster. In addition, 22 players who were not involved in the initial testing received a generic LPH injury reduction programme and were used as the control. Seasonal information for LPH injury incidence, severity and prevalence were compared to the previous season.

Results: The same number of injuries were observed when the prospective injury surveillance data was compared to the previous season, however a reduced injury severity (936d v 468d), average severity (78 ± 126d v 42 ± 37d) and prevalence (21% v 19%) were found. Moreover, LPH injury severity for players who were prescribed a tailored injury reduction programme (209d) were 50d less than players given a generic LPH injury reduction programme (259d).

Conclusions: Our preliminary observations support the effectiveness of grouping players and tailoring intervention based on common group characteristics in reducing the severity of LPH injuries in professional Rugby Union.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-279
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sports
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Injury prevention
  • hip
  • groin
  • cluster analysis
  • muscle fatigue
  • muscle strength testing


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