Shaunagh Brown column: Neck injury a reminder rugby is not everything

Shaunagh Brown column: Neck injury a reminder rugby is not everything

A graphic reading: Shaunagh Brown, BBC Sport columnist, with a picture of Shaunagh Brown

England claimed a Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam and fourth straight title against France on Saturday, but I could not be there.

I suffered a neck injury in training and left camp before the team went to Bayonne.

As a prop, your neck generally hurts from scrums but any injury in that area or the spine is super-scary.

Initially, I continued training and took painkillers and anti-inflammatories but when it did not get better I decided with the team doctors it would be best to stop everything – no running, weights or rugby – and I was getting treatment on it for a few hours each day.

Thankfully it has improved now but there was a moment when I thought ‘what if I can never play again?’

The doctor who sent me home from England camp was almost nervous to tell me his decision but actually I was all right.

I know there is life after rugby and there is not a chance I would risk the quality of that life to continue playing.

The stakes are high with a World Cup around the corner but if it came to it, I could deal with not playing if it means I have use of my neck for the rest of my life.

Neck injuries are hard even with medical scans – because if you scanned my neck and compared it with that of a person who has not played rugby, it would look a state.

As a result, it could send you down the wrong path in treating something that doesn’t look right on the scan but which my body has been dealing with.

Instead a physio diagnosed the problem and, like I said, it has improved with rest so I am hopeful I can play for Harlequins on Saturday as we look to secure our place in the Premier 15s play-offs.

  • Looming wins record brings pressure – Scarratt
  • Bern and Packer nominated for Six Nations award
  • How can England stay ahead for World Cup?

‘Biggest Women’s Six Nations ever’

Even though I was not in France, I was still able to play my part in the Women’s Six Nations ‘Super Saturday’ finale.

All the round five fixtures were on one after the other on Saturday and I was part of a watch party event at a pub in central London.

There were similar events going on in various places and I have never known that to happen before.

It is a sign of how much the tournament has grown – it is the biggest Women’s Six Nations I have ever experienced.

What felt really special was having so many women come together to watch it.

I took a friend with me – and on the way home, he said he had never seen so many women in a pub.

That is the problem and that is the point. Women might not want to sit in a sports pub full of men but this was a safer space with women’s sport on the TV.

The organisers had invested money in it and said they would do similar things in the f

…. to be continued
Read full article at the Original Source
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source : BBC News –