E-Thesis 332 views 198 downloads
Neck Strength and Head Acceleration Events in University Women’s Rugby Union / VICTORIA HAYDEN
Swansea University Author: VICTORIA HAYDEN
PDF | E-Thesis – open access
Copyright: The author, Victoria G. Hayden, 2022.Download (1.37MB)
Women’s rugby union has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, with female players now comprising one-third of the global rugby playing population. Despite these numbers, most existing rugby injury and biomechanics data is derived from androcentric studies that are generalised and applied...
|Degree level:||Master of Research|
|Degree name:||MSc by Research|
|Supervisor:||Williams, Elisabeth ; Mackintosh, Kelly A.|
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Women’s rugby union has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, with female players now comprising one-third of the global rugby playing population. Despite these numbers, most existing rugby injury and biomechanics data is derived from androcentric studies that are generalised and applied to female players, regardless of the well-established biomechanical and physiological sex differences. Concussion is a concerning player welfare issue in rugby; however, neck strength is reported to be an important variable in head impact reduction. The primary aim of this thesis was to quantitatively assess neck strength and head acceleration magnitude in female university level players. Baseline maximal isometric neck strength and endurance of university women’s rugby players (n=30) were measured using a purpose-built isometric neck strength testing apparatus. The intervention group (n=20) then participated in a nine-week neck strengthening training programme before mid-season re-tests. In addition, the magnitude of head acceleration events was recorded for players from the intervention group (n=12) during six competitive games using instrumented mouthguards. The influence of neck strength on head acceleration magnitude data was investigated, as well as the contribution of playing position, anthropometric variables, playing experience and the mechanisms of the head acceleration event. The players recorded limited anthropometric and positional specificity. Of the 73 verified head acceleration events recorded, the median peak linear and rotational acceleration were 11.9 ± 7.3 g and 830.9 ± 646.9 rad•s-2 respectively. Notably, whiplash head-to-ground movements were recorded more frequently that in androcentric studies. There was a positive intervention effect on neck strength, but no correlation between neck strength and head acceleration magnitude. The findings provide an evidentiary platform of objective data, demonstrating the requirement of female representation in rugby union studies. Safe and effective training interventions for female players, based on female-derived data are pertinent to facilitate the further development of women’s rugby.
Faculty of Science and Engineering