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Returning to rugby after slipped disc

  • 31-08-2020 2:08pm
    Registered Users Posts: 156 ✭✭


    I'm looking for a bit of advice from any physios out there. I managed to slip my c5-c6 disc at the beginning of the year. All symptoms have died down and I'm considering returning to full contact this season.

    I thought when I did it that that would be the end of my rugby playing days (happened in a ruck when someone tried to clear me out of a ruck by shoulder charging my head).

    From what I've read/heard plenty of athletes have returned to contact sports after this kind of injury. I'm going to speak to the club physio before returning but I'm interested in hearing from any players out there who have returned to playing after a similar injury or physio's out there who think it's a good or bad idea.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,166 Mod ✭✭✭✭Zzippy

    Mod: NO MEDICAL ADVICE will be permitted. Post about personal experience only but do not try to advise the OP.

    OP, you probably should discuss this with a doctor, not just the club physio. Unfortunately we cannot allow medical advice here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,402 ✭✭✭✭Trojan

    I played front row for 20 years or so. Towards the end I was getting back spasms and started getting pretty severe low back pain to the point where I couldn't move for 48 hours. (Difene was a godsend).

    I got a physio to give me a referral to a surgeon at Santry Sports Medical Clinic. There I got an MRI scan and spoke with the surgeon afterwards. (Note they have 2 MRI scanners, and the primary one is smaller than the backup one, which is more suitable IMO for front row types).

    It cost a few quid, but was good to find out for sure what the issue was and what could be done. Ultimately I decided to give up even the casual playing (sevens tournaments etc) that I was still doing. I decided not to get any kind of surgery. In my case, strengthening the core was essential, so I found myself one of two guys in a pilates class full of women. I still get occasional spasms, particularly when I stop exercising, so it's important to keep that up.

    Hope that perspective helps, good luck with your situation.