SOCCER INJURY FACT OR FICTION – Does Heading Cause Concussions

Fact or Fiction: Concussions are common in soccer

Fiction. Concussions are not common in soccer. All head injuries, including concussions and face and eye injuries, make up less than 25 percent and perhaps as few as 4 percent of all soccer injuries.

Fact or Fiction: Heading the soccer ball causes concussions

Fiction. In older players, heading does not cause concussions. 2 In younger players, heading is a very rare cause of concussion, usually associated with improper technique.

Fact or Fiction: Most concussions in soccer occur from contact with another player, often while heading

Fact. Contact with another player, often when going for a header, is the most common cause of concussions in soccer players.

Fact or Fiction: Male soccer players are at greater risk for concussions than female soccer players

Fiction. Females are at a greater risk of concussion during soccer than males.

Fact or Fiction: Heading the soccer ball has a negative long-term effect on brain health

Fiction. The general consensus is that heading does not have a negative long-term effect on brain health. Concussions, however, may be a risk factor for long-term neurocognitive issues.

Fact or Fiction: Protective head gear reduces the risk of concussion in soccer players

Fiction. Headgear has not been shown to reduce the risk of concussion in soccer players. Headgear does not alter the impact of ball contact during heading but may reduce the risk of injury from player to player contact. However, use of headgear could give soccer players a false sense of security and make them more likely to risk collisions, potentially offsetting any beneficial effect.

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