Today there’s a story to be told. We’ll call the main character Bob.


Bob is a 30-year-old rugby player in Australia. He went to his doctor complaining of neck pain. During a rugby game, other players piled up on top of him and forced his neck forward. Then the next four months, when he was in a pile-up again, he noticed he had shooting pain that went down his arm. He also had headaches and pain in his neck and upper back.


His doctor sent him to Radiology to get some x-rays and the MRI department. These imaging studies showed he had a collapsed disc at the C5/C6 level as well as the C6/C7 level. There was also calcification seen in the ligament that prevents the fifth through seventh cervical vertebrae from slipping forward. And he also had a C7 nerve root compression.


The C7 nerve root compression is the worst of these injuries. The second worst is the herniated disk. These are serious injuries.


Bob’s doctor gave him NSAIDs to stop the pain and sent him back in the game. And as you can expect, this didn’t help. His symptoms got progressively worse. He was losing muscle strength, having pain daily, experiencing less range of motion, and still having headaches.


Bob’s Coach Sent Him Back Into the Field!


Why his coach still allowed him to play rugby is anyone’s guess. This wasn’t a smart thing to do. Finally, after one doctor’s appointment, he was told to stop playing rugby for three weeks and not do any weight lifting for the upper body. Two weeks later, he could move his neck again and only had pain occasionally. However, he still had numbness in his fingers. Two weeks after this, the season was over.


Bob’s doctor wanted to take out the herniated disc and fuse the vertebrae together. If this occurred, Bob couldn’t play rugby for six months. And Bob said, “No way!”


He rested for the rest of the time until the next season but never went back to the sport.


How Could the Course of History Have Been Changed?


The question is how would Bob’s chiropractor have changed the course of history?


The answer is in a lot of ways – and Bob could have healed from his injuries. The reason why I say this is because of the following:


  1. Bob’s medical team for rugby wasn’t following normal protocol. They should have removed him from the game to seek treatment a lot earlier than when he was removed. This would have given him time to seek treatment from his chiropractor.
  2. Bob’s chiropractor would have followed normal operating protocol and used ice, rest, hard cervical collar, pain medications and traction with eventual strengthening exercises. This would have prevented him from ending up with the other successive injuries.
  3. Bob’s chiropractor may also have used some very specific chiropractic techniques that help “suck” the herniation back into the spinal canal. If so, a lot of his pain would have been avoided and the nerve root injury could have been avoided.
  4. Bob’s chiropractor would have also assisted in realigning the spinal segments with chiropractic adjustments. Once the spine is in alignment, then the pain control is soon evident.


There’s a lot of potential help for rugby players with injuries. All that has to happen is to get to the right rugby chiropractor to treat the injuries properly. The body will do the rest.


If you’re a rugby player, get in to see your chiropractor with the least little injury. Prevent it from becoming a big one that will make you give up your sport forever.




Pollard, H., Hansen, L. and Hoskins, W. Cervical stenosis in a professional rugby player: a case report. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2005 .

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