Many people associate sports concussions with football since it is widely publicized in the media. However, we tend to forget about the popular sport soccer, where frequent contact with the ball and head occur since players use their heads to propel the ball to score, at it is recognized as a skill in the game.
A recent study showed that players who headed an average of 125 balls over the course of two weeks were more prone to concussions than those who headed only four balls in that same period of time. Those players who headed more frequently were more prone to complain of concussion symptoms like unconsciousness, dizziness, headaches, and confusion.
One Sport, Multiple Risks
But heading is not the only way that soccer players can get a brain injury. There is also a lot of player to player contact that has not been accounted for on the field. For example, one study shows that player contact was to blame for 69 percent of concussions in boys and 51 percent of girls. While no sport is necessarily “safe” specialists believe that the takeaway is to enforce fair play and the rules of the game rather than put on a show for spectators.
The problem with the show aspect of the sport is that many times children try to emulate what they see on TV leading to aggressive behavior on the field. John O’Kane, a sports physician, and professor at the University of Washington Medical Center thinks that banning heading might not solve the whole problem. “Heading is part of the sport and while there is risk involved, no sport is completely safe,” he says via email. “The question is how to make heading and soccer in general safer, especially for kids. I believe that we place an emphasis on winning over learning proper technique at too young an age,” he says, “The result is teams with big, fast aggressive players that win by running over people instead of playing good soccer.”
It is important to note that your child is always vulnerable to head injuries in sports. Discuss ways to avoid concussions when they aren’t necessary, like heading and aggressive play in soccer.
Unfortunately, sometime these can’t be avoided. Be prepared and follow our checklist below.
8 Ways to Recover From Brain Injury:
- Protect your brain—you do not get another one.
- Have brain envy, which is the burning desire to have a better brain.
- Avoid things that hurt it, like being overweight and toxic substances like alcohol.
- Give your brain a healthy foundation with brain-directed dietary supplements: a great multiple vitamin and mineral to assure a broad spectrum of nutrients, and a higher-serving fish oil (3-4 grams for adults, 1-2 grams for children) to support a healthy response to inflammation, healthy levels of DHA in the brain, and healthy nerve cell fluidity.
- Move your body! Exercise boosts brain blood flow and improves mood, instantly! If exercise is new for you, start with “walking like you are late” for 45 minutes, 4 days a week.
- Eat right so you can think right.
- Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Depending on the severity, consider hyperbaric oxygen treatment or HBOT, biofeedback or neurofeedback. These are all great ways to support optimized brain function.
Brain trauma is often reversible but it takes a smart program that incorporates a biological, psychological, social, and spiritual approach—all part of The Amen Clinics Method.
At Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about your brain and how to feel better. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.