Opinion: Reducing Spinal Injuries in Rugby: Is Rugby League the Solution?
Sport as a whole has recently been under greater scrutiny over the safety of its participants. The tragic death of Australian Test Cricketer Philip Hughes brought into stark focus the risk of head injury but there has also been greater awareness of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, concussion and use of performance enhancing drugs. Much of the research around concussion arises from what could be described as “collision” sports such as American football and ice hockey. The catalyst for discussions around concussion has tended to originate from these American sport. The significance of this increased awareness of safety has not been lost on the sport of rugby which has caused changes in practice in terms of concussion management but what appears not to have been fully appreciated is the additional risk of cervical spine injury associated with the sport.