Impact of repetitive heading in soccer needs more research, say experts

Impact of repetitive heading in soccer needs more research, say experts

Researchers warned in a paper published today that not enough attention has been given to the unique aspect of soccer — the purposeful use of the head to control the ball — and the long-term consequences of repetitive heading.

via Living Well News — ScienceDaily:

Soccer is the most-popular and fastest-growing sport in the world and, like many contact sports, players are at risk of suffering concussions from collisions on the field.But researchers warned in a paper published today that not enough attention has been given to the unique aspect of soccer — the purposeful use of the head to control the ball — and the long-term consequences of repetitive heading.The literature review by Dr. Tom Schweizer, director of the Neuroscience Research Program of St. Michael’s Hospital, was published in the journal Brain Injury.More than 265 million people play soccer worldwide, including 27 million in North America. Due to the nature of the sport, players are particularly vulnerable to head and neck injuries. Most are caused by unintentional or unexpected contact, such as when a player collides with teammates, opponents or the playing surface.There is significant concern in the sporting and medical worlds about the potential long-term cognitive and behavioral consequences for athletes who suffer acute or repeat concussions or multiple “sub-concussive” head impacts — blows to the head not causing symptoms of concussions.”The practice of heading, which might occur thousands of times over a player’s career, carries unknown risks, but may uniquely contribute to cognitive decline or impairment in the short- or long-term,” said Dr. Schweizer, a neuroscientist. “Thus, soccer players present a unique opportunity to study whether cumulative sub-concussive impacts affect cognitive functioning, similar to that of concussions.”Examining research papers that studied the incidence of concussion in soccer, he found that concussions accounted for 5.8 per cent to 8.6 per cent of total injuries sustained during games. One study found that 62.7 per cent of varsity soccer players had suffered symptoms of a concussion during their playing careers, yet only 19.2 per cent realized it. Another found that 81.8 per cent of athletes who had suffered a concussion had experienced two or more and that players with a history of concussion had a 3.15 times greater odds of sustaining another one than those who had never had a concussion. One study found concussions sustained during soccer accounted for 15 per cent of the total number of concussions in all sports. …

For more info: Impact of repetitive heading in soccer needs more research, say experts

Living Well News — ScienceDaily

Impact of repetitive heading in soccer needs more research, say experts

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