Sports Medicine Challenges During The 6 Nations

If like me you’re a big fan of Rugby Union – you’ll be enjoying the fact that the 2022 Six Nations started last weekend. For me – its one of the greatest sports tournaments going. Between 2014 and 2017 I was lucky enough to be England Men’s Senior Team Doctor. I have therefore seen first-hand the physical, physiological and psychological load that the players are subject to. Their resilience in backing up matches week on week is phenomenal.

Load monitoring is of course a fundamental pillar of what all performance staff do; but even with the newest technologies available – it’s not easy to keep it relevant and meaningful. That’s why a lot of the time you’re relying on the relationship you’ve built with your athletes, and their willingness to be honest/open with their reporting.

When players are injured you have to give them time to heal and then load them appropriately as each test week progresses. The challenge is sometimes reconciling this with the player’s desire and the coach’s expectation that little or no training time will be missed.

This is when a really accurate diagnosis (supported by imaging if appropriate), and the formulation of a rehabilitation plan that everyone buys into is key.

Good rehabilitation frequently requires input from the whole performance support team – Physio, Doctor, S+C Coach, Nutritionist and Psychologist. That’s why we have all these practitioners available via R4P.

So if you’re serious about your sport and are unlucky enough to get injured – don’t ignore it. You probably won’t need input from the whole team – but if you do, we’re ready.

In the next blog I do I’ll talk about concussion and how, just like with any other injury, diagnosis and a rehabilitation plan are key.

Dr.Nigel Jones




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