Exposure to head impacts in youth football practice drillsSeptember 12, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (SEPTEMBER 12, 2017). Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center examined differences in the number, location, and magnitude of head impacts sustained by young athletes during various youth football practice drills. Such information could lead to recommendations for football practices, including modification of some high-intensity drills in order to reduce players' exposure to head impacts and, consequently, lessen the risks of injury. Detailed information on the findings of this study can be found in the article, "Head impact exposure measured in a single youth football team during practice drills," by Mireille E. Kelley, MS (a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Wake Forest Baptist), et al., published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.
Much has been written about concussions sustained by youths engaged in football. However, other less severe head impacts are frequently experienced by young athletes throughout the football season. And, important to note, studies have shown that far more head impacts occur during football practice drills than during games.
Kelley and her colleagues collected biomechanical data and videos to evaluate the number, location, and magnitude of head impacts sustained by nine youths during football practice drills. All youths were members of the same team and were on average about 11 years of age. Inside each athlete's helmet was a Head Impact Telemetry (HIT) System™, which measures head acceleration. This apparatus was worn for all football practices over an entire season of play, including preseason, regular season, and playoff practice drills. Every time the HIT System™ recorded a head impact greater than 10g, data collection was triggered and biomechanical data were transmitted to a sideline base unit for later analysis. Videos were recorded to ensure that helmets were worn at the time of impact and to pair videos of the drills with associated biomechanical data collected by the HIT System™.
There were eleven types of practice drills: dummy/sled tackling, install, special teams, multiplayer tackle, Oklahoma, one-on-one, open-field tackling, passing, position skill work, scrimmage, and tackling drill stations. The authors provide descriptions and purposes of these drills in Table 1 in the paper (see attached).
The authors report that a total of 2,125 head impacts occurred while the nine young athletes participated in a total of 30 contact practices. The authors provide a summary of head impact exposure (HIE) data broken down by the eleven types of practice drills in Table 2 in their paper (see attached). The frequency of impacts was assessed by compiling the number of impacts per minute per player for each drill. The magnitudes of these impacts were determined on the basis of linear (g's) and rotational (radians per square second) head acceleration measured by the HIT System™, which the authors report as means and 50th and 95th percentiles.
Kelley et al. used biomechanical data and videos not only to identify the number, magnitude, and location of head impacts, but also to interpret possible contributors to variations in these factors among different practice drills. A few interesting findings are listed below.
Head impacts occurred most frequently during contact drills involving multiple players, and higher-magnitude head impacts took place during tackling drills. Not all drills were practiced in each session. Open field tackling, for example, was only practiced in five of the 30 practice sessions. Although this drill was associated with relatively few head impacts (compared with other drills), the impacts tended to be of high magnitude. The authors point out that the high magnitude of head impacts associated with open field tackling is most likely caused by the fact that athletes build up speed as they move toward each other across distances greater than 3 yards. In one-on-one tackling, on the other hand, youth athletes cover less ground before reaching each other. The authors suggest that this may have contributed to the fact that the magnitude of head impacts for one-on-one tackling was lower than those for open field tackling.
The multiplayer tackle drill was associated with the highest rate of head impacts, but these impacts were relatively low-magnitude ones (compared with impacts in other tackling drills). The authors suggest that this may be due to the emphasis on blocking rather than tackling during this drill.
With the exception of the dummy/sled tackling drill, the most common location of impact was the front of the football helmet. However, when high-magnitude impacts (60g or greater) were evaluated, in some drills--namely, open-field tackling, Oklahoma, one-on-one, and position skill work--the most common impact location was the top of the helmet, which the authors suggest may represent improper tackling technique.
Thorough examination of variations among practice drills with respect to the number of head impacts, their magnitude, and the location on the head where they occur provides researchers with information on what drills are more likely to increase risks of injury. This provides valuable information to health professionals, coaches, and youth football league officials for determining whether particular drills should be modified or eliminated from practice sessions.
The authors point out that this study is small--limited to only nine players of similar age in a single football team. The authors suggest that further studies should be conducted in larger numbers of players from different age groups to evaluate additional variations in biomechanical data across practice drills and assess risks of practice-related head injury.
In describing the study, lead investigator Jillian E. Urban, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Wake Forest Baptist, said, "This study, along with future research, will help inform relevant evidence-based recommendations for youth football leagues to reduce head impact exposure and ultimately improve the safety of sport for our young athletes."
Ms. Kelley, Ms. Miller, and Professors Stitzel and Urban are affiliated with the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Wake Forest School of Medicine; Ms. Kane is a student in the Department of Health and Exercise Science; Prof. Espeland is affiliated with the Department of Biostatistical Sciences and Dr. Powers with the Department of Neurosurgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
This work was funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (Grant No. KL2TR001421) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (Grant No. R01NS094410) of the National Institutes of Health as well as by the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma.
For additional information, please contact: Ms. Jo Ann M. Eliason, Communications Manager, Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group, One Morton Drive, Suite 200, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 434-982-1209.
The Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics is a monthly peer-reviewed journal focused on diseases and disorders of the central nervous system and spine in children. This journal contains a variety of articles, including descriptions of preclinical and clinical research as well as case reports and technical notes. The Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics is one of four monthly journals published by the JNS Publishing Group, the scholarly journal division of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Other peer-reviewed journals published by the JNS Publishing Group each month include the Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgical Focus, and the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. All four journals can be accessed at http://www.thejns.org.
Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 8,300 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada, or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system including the brain, spinal column, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. For more information, visit http://www.AANS.org.
Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group
Related Biomedical Engineering Articles:
When it comes to health, a person's sex can play a role.
The University of Akron hosts a national conference aimed at ensuring underserved students have access to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
A research team led by the University of Delaware's David Martin has discovered a new approach to boosting the lifetime and effectiveness of electronic biomedical devices.
The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust has renewed its funding commitment to the Chicago Biomedical Consortium, a research and education collaboration of Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Chicago that has helped establish the Chicago area as a biomedical sciences leader.
A research team at the UNC School of Medicine found that the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), which is required for admission to graduate and doctorate programs across the country, is not the best indicator for predicting a student's success while pursuing a doctorate in the experimental life sciences.
Professor Ron Hui, Chair Professor of Power Electronics and Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, has been named a Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, one of the most prestigious national academies.
The new heat-stable RNA ligase could be useful for a variety of applications including in vitro diagnostics and sequencing.
In a nation-wide competition, six teams of undergraduate engineering students produced prize-winning designs for technological advances to improve human health.
Injuries and certain degenerative diseases -- including Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis -- can disrupt the nervous system, posing a challenge for scientists seeking ways to repair the damage.
In this Policy Forum, Phillip Sharp, Tyler Jacks and Susan Hockfield discuss the need for better integration of engineering, physical, computational, and mathematical sciences with biomedical science, as they publish a report this week outlining key recommendations in this space.
Related Biomedical Engineering Reading:
Biomedical Engineering: Bridging Medicine and Technology (Cambridge Texts in Biomedical Engineering)
by W. Mark Saltzman (Author)
The second edition of this popular introductory undergraduate textbook uses examples, applications, and profiles of biomedical engineers to show students the relevance of the theory and how it can be used to solve real problems in human medicine. The essential molecular biology, cellular biology, and human physiology background is included for students to understand the context in which biomedical engineers work. Updates throughout highlight important advances made over recent years, including iPS cells, microRNA, nanomedicine, imaging technology, biosensors, and drug delivery systems, giving... View Details
Biomedical Engineering and Human Body Systems (Engineering in Action)
by Rebecca Sjonger (Author)
"Biomedical engineering is the fastest growing engineering field. From designing life-saving medical devices to high-performance athletic gear, these engineers improve people's lives every day. This book explores the creative ways biomedical engineers help diagnose, treat, and prevent problems found in human body systems. Real-life examples make learning about the engineering design process interesting for readers. Practical, hands-on activities help readers to understand scientific and engineering principles."-- View Details
The Body Builders: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human
by Adam Piore (Author)
Fareed Zakaria GPS Book of the Week
Weaving together vivid storytelling and groundbreaking science, The Body Builders explores the current revolution in human augmentation, which is helping us to triumph over the limitations and constraints we have long accepted as an inevitable part of being human
For millennia, humans have tried—and often failed—to master nature and transcend our limits. But this has started to change. The new scientific frontier is the human body: the greatest engineers of our generation have turned their sights... View Details
Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, Third Edition
by John Enderle Ph.D. (Author), Joseph Bronzino (Author)
Introduction to Biomedical Engineering is a comprehensive survey text for biomedical engineering courses. It is the most widely adopted text across the BME course spectrum, valued by instructors and students alike for its authority, clarity and encyclopedic coverage in a single volume.
Biomedical engineers need to understand the wide range of topics that are covered in this text, including basic mathematical modeling; anatomy and physiology; electrical engineering, signal processing and instrumentation; biomechanics; biomaterials science and tissue engineering; and medical... View Details
Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, Second Edition
by John D. Enderle (Author), Joseph D. Bronzino (Author), Susan M. Blanchard (Author)
Under the direction of John Enderle, Susan Blanchard and Joe Bronzino, leaders in the field have contributed chapters on the most relevant subjects for biomedical engineering students. These chapters coincide with courses offered in all biomedical engineering programs so that it can be used at different levels for a variety of courses of this evolving field.
Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, Second Edition provides a historical perspective of the major developments in the biomedical field. Also contained within are the fundamental principles underlying biomedical... View Details
Biomedical Engineering: Bridging Medicine and Technology (Cambridge Texts in Biomedical Engineering)
by W. Mark Saltzman (Author)
This is an ideal text for an introduction to biomedical engineering. The book presents the basic science knowledge used by biomedical engineers at a level accessible to all students and illustrates the first steps in applying this knowledge to solve problems in human medicine. Biomedical engineering now encompasses a range of fields of specialization including bioinstrumentation, bioimaging, biomechanics, biomaterials, and biomolecular engineering. This introduction to bioengineering assembles foundational resources from molecular and cellular biology and physiology and relates them to... View Details
Biomedical Engineering: History and Practice
by Robert G. Hulse (Author)
Learn everything you need to know to familiarize yourself with the Biomedical Engineering industry in this collection of articles by editor Robert G. Hulse. View Details
Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done
by Mick Ebeling (Author)
What if you discovered by accident that you could change the world? Mick Ebeling—a film producer by trade, optimist by nature—set out to perform a simple act of kindness that quickly turned into a lifelong mission. In the process he discovered that he could, indeed, change the world—and this fascinating new book shows how you can, too.
On the cutting edge of the new “Maker Movement”—an outgrowth of the “hackers” of a decade ago—Mick Ebeling has found ways to create new, simple, do-it-yourself technologies to help people surmount seemingly impossible odds. With a bunch... View Details
Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies
by Paul G. Yock (Author), Stefanos Zenios (Author), Josh Makower (Author), Todd J. Brinton (Author), Uday N. Kumar (Author), F. T. Jay Watkins (Author), Lyn Denend (Author), Thomas M. Krummel (Author), Christine Q. Kurihara (Author)
This step-by-step guide to medical technology innovation, now in full color, has been rewritten to reflect recent trends of industry globalization and value-conscious healthcare. Written by a team of medical, engineering, and business experts, the authors provide a comprehensive resource that leads students, researchers, and entrepreneurs through a proven process for the identification, invention, and implementation of new solutions. Case studies on innovative products from around the world, successes and failures, practical advice, and end-of-chapter 'Getting Started' sections encourage... View Details
The Biomedical Engineering Handbook, Fourth Edition: Four Volume Set
by Joseph D. Bronzino (Author), Donald R. Peterson (Author)
The definitive "bible" for the field of biomedical engineering, this collection of volumes is a major reference for all practicing biomedical engineers and students. Now in its fourth edition, this work presents a substantial revision, with all sections updated to offer the latest research findings. New sections address drugs and devices, personalized medicine, and stem cell engineering. Also included is a historical overview as well as a special section on medical ethics. This set provides complete coverage of biomedical engineering fundamentals, medical devices and systems, computer... View Details