Nav: Home

Heads up tackling program decreases concussion rates, say researchers

March 18, 2017

San Diego, CA - Consistently using a tackling education program appears to help lessen youth football concussion severity and occurrence, say researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in San Diego, CA.

"Our study showed that the risk of a concussion in high school football athletes was 1.4 times lower from schools that utilized the Heads Up tackling education program than those who were not trained to utilize the techniques," said lead researcher, Ellen Shanley PhD, PT, OCS, Director, Athletic Injury Research, Prevention, and Education, SC Center for Effectiveness Research in Orthopedics.

Shanley and her colleagues monitored 2,514 high school football athletes during the 2015 season in Greenville area. Prior to the start of the pre-season football, at least one coach from 14 schools received the Heads Up training from USA Football. Ten schools utilized the standard training. Random monitoring to assess proper coaching technique and instruction was performed by the researchers at three different times during the season to ensure compliance. Athletic trainers at each school monitored and recorded injury information for all practices and games for all of the schools involved in the study. The primary providers for all the athletes (both athletic trainers and physicians) are also part of the same large health network that provides services and use the same concussion clearance standards for return to activity.

During the season, 117 concussion injuries were observed. Players on the Heads Up teams sustained 75 concussions compared with 45 from the non-Heads Up teams with a concussion rate of 4.1/100 players vs. 6.0 for non-Heads up members. In addition, the Heads Up group appeared to return to play 27% faster than the non-Heads Up group with 10.6 days lost vs. 15.3 days lost.

"The results of our study seem to suggest that possibly less severe concussions were occurring with the Heads Up group which could be a significant hurdle to learning about and preventing concussions in youth football and keeping kids active," said Shanley. "With this being the first paper to evaluate the impact of this type of training program on the incidence and recovery of concussion, we hope to do additional research with a larger data pool to continue to build insights."
-end-
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a world leader in sports medicine education, research, communication and fellowship, and includes national and international orthopaedic sports medicine leaders. The Society works closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. AOSSM is also a founding partner of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to prevent overuse and traumatic injuries in kids.

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Related Concussion Articles:

Concussion protocols often not followed during FIFA World Cup
In the 2014 soccer World Cup, concussion assessment protocols were not followed in more than 60 percent of plays in which players involved in head collisions were not assessed by sideline health care personnel, according to a study published by JAMA.
Three ways neuroscience can advance the concussion debate
While concussion awareness has improved over the past decade, understanding the nuances of these sports injuries, their severity, symptoms, and treatment, is still a work in progress.
Concussion effects detailed on microscopic level
New research has uncovered details about subcellular-level changes in the brain after concussion that could one day lead to improved treatment.
Heads up tackling program decreases concussion rates, say researchers
Consistently using a tackling education program appears to help lessen youth football concussion severity and occurrence, say researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in San Diego, Calif.
Women may be at higher risk for sports-related concussion than men
Women athletes are 50 percent more likely than male athletes to have a sports-related concussion, according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017.
More Concussion News and Concussion Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#535 Superior
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.