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Concussion Symptoms in Soccer After “Heading"

Concussions in soccer may not only come from unintentional hits to the head. "Heading" is a common action taken by soccer players where they intentionally take hits to the head from the soccer ball. In 2013, a study called the Einstein Soccer Study was conducted to research the effects that heading has on soccer players. For over a year, researchers collected information from 222 participants. These participants were asked to answer surveys regarding any accidental or intentional heading, and any symptoms that followed in a given two week span. The participants of the Einstein Soccer Study were predominantly males ages 18-55, and resulted in a total of 470 surveys. Although the study did not unearth the long-term effects of heading on soccer players, it did discover some interesting findings on the primary effects of heading. Of the male participants in the study, 37% claimed to take hits from the ball unintentionally and reported intentional heading an average of 44 times. While 43% of women participating in the study claimed to take hits from the ball unintentionally, and reported intentional heading an average of 27 times. 20% of the participants claimed to experience moderate to severe concussion symptoms after intentionally heading the ball and unintentional hits to the head. Researchers found that the participants who experienced the most hits through unintentional hits and intentional heading, correlated directly with those experiencing concussion symptoms. In the future, studies may be conducted to research the longterm effects of heading and the complications it may cause. For now, it is evident that there are short-term effects on soccer players experiencing both intentional and unintentional hits to the head.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Neurology, online February 1, 2017.