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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
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Girls’ Soccer Concussions: Experts Say Concussion-Reducing Headband Unproven

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Soccer Headband May Not Protect Against ConcussionThere has been much discussion about the concussion problems in football – most recently a lawsuit by thousands of NFL football players alleging the League hid concussion dangers.

But most people don't know – I certainly didn't – that youth girls soccer is second leading cause of concussions.

According to a series of stories featured on Rock Center with Brian Williams, the growing popularity of girls youth soccer is increasing concussions in girls as young as 12 years old.

"People who think of concussions as only being present mostly in guys and mostly in the sport of football are just plain wrong," said Dr. Bob Cantu, who is chairman of the surgery division and the director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass. "Soccer is right at the top of the list for girls."

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"What's happening in this country is an epidemic of concussions, number one, and the realization that many of these individuals are going to go on to post-concussion syndrome, which can alter their ability to function at a high level for the rest of their lives," Dr. Cantu said.

To help prevent concussions, one soccer dad created a padded headband called the Full90 Premier Headguard. On its web site, the Full90 touts that it "is built to defend against hard surface impacts, and has been proven to reduce the probability of a concussion by over 50%"

Not so fast says, Dr. Bob Cantu.

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Dr. Cantu says neck strengthening exercises may be the best protection for girls who play contact sports, like soccer. Dr. Cantu said that long, slender necks permit the head to jostle much more than would occur with stronger neck muscles. The exercises can be done easily at home without the need for expensive equipment.

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Be sure to protect your health (or your child's) when playing contact sports like soccer. Just because a product's packaging or advertising suggests it might have health benefits, doesn't mean that it is actually true. True head protection needs to be robust and should be peer reviewed using independent analysis to ensure the accuracy of the claims.

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(c) Copyright 2012 Brett A. Emison

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