An Objective Case Controlled Study: Does Cervical Muscle Adaptation in Male Rugby Players Aged 13-18 Occur When Compared to Controls?Pegrum J*, Gatherer D and Hudson Z
Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, Bancroft Road, London, E1 4NS
- *Corresponding Author:
- James Pegrum
Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road
Bancroft Road, London, E1 4NS, UK
Tel: 0118 322 5111
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: February 11, 2014; Accepted date: April 18, 2014; Published date: April 20, 2014
Citation: Pegrum J, Gatherer D, Hudson Z (2014) An Objective Case Controlled Study: Does Cervical Muscle Adaptation in Male Rugby Players Aged 13-18 Occur When Compared to Controls?. Anat Physiol 4:139. doi:10.4172/2161-0940.1000139
Copyright: © 2014 Pegrum J, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Purpose:Rugbyis a physical game causing injuries, the most catastrophic of which is the cervical spine injury (CSI), resulting in tetraplegia or even death. Currently the Rugby Football Union (RFU) differentiates players on age alone and not strength. The primary outcome goal is to investigate the cervical strength of adolescent rugby playing individuals versus age match controls.
Methods: Forty four 14-18 year olds were evaluated for their cervical strength in flexion and extension using repetition maximum. Repetition maximum was established by measuring isometric contraction until the onset of eccentric failure with the use of a dynamometer. Neck girth was measured directly superior to the thyroid cartilage and cervical range of movement using a goniometer. These three parameters were compared against football playing controls.
Results: Cervical circumference and strength is significantly stronger in rugby players versus age matched controls and also in 17-18 year old rugby players compared with their 14-16 year old counterparts P<0.05. The difference in strength is not just age related but also sport specific as cervical extension strength to body weight ratio is stronger in rugby players versus football players P<0.05.
Conclusion: Urgent RFU regulations need to be addressed before the coming season to make sure U16 players are not playing for U18 teams unless having both sufficient strength and skill. Further still novice or beginners should not be introduced into the team without adequate conditioning and training.