Are Concussions Destroying Football?

February 4, 2014

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

Broken bones, sprained ankles and torn ACLs have long been realities in football. Rehab can be a long and painful process, but most of the time you can get back on the field and resume playing at a high level.

However, the revelation that repeated concussions can cause a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is making some people question whether football is safe for humans.

Learn more about CTE here.

Now this concern may actually be having tangible effects. In a recent poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 40 percent of the adults surveyed would encourage their children to play sports other than football.

This is the most plausible explanation for why Pop Warner saw a 9.5 percent drop in participation between 2010 and 2012. Although USA Football and Pop Warner point to no specific reason for the drop, it would be disingenuous to overlook the growing concern about the effects of concussions.

After several high-profile suicides were linked to CTE and the NFL awarded $765 million to former players to settle a lawsuit alleging that the league didn’t do enough to protect them, the NFL took action to reduce the frequency and severity of concussions. They banned head-to-head contact and now penalize tackling a defenseless receiver. If a concussion is suspected, the affected player must immediately be removed from the game, and he can’t return until he is symptom-free—a critical step for preventing future issues.

But is football inherently dangerous, or more dangerous than other sports? Probably not. Chris Nowinksi, president of the Sports Legacy Institute, has been quoted as saying, "Athletes in all sports are at risk. In fact, a study done at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that reported concussions happened nearly as often in girls high school soccer as they did in football during a two-season span.”

Any time athletes are moving at high speed and a ball (or a puck) is being thrown around, there’s bound to be contact to the head at some point, either from a legal tackle or body check or from an accidental collision.

The keys are to find ways to limit contact to the head and to educate athletes, making it clear that if they experience symptoms of a concussion, they must get off the field or ice. Fighting through a head injury is simply not worth the long-term cost. 

Sources: Wall Street Journal, ESPN

 

Topics: CONCUSSION
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Must See
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 6,565,334
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 36,976,813
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,941,524

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 68,298
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 6,362
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 127,960
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,654
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,225
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,612
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,718
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,560,472

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Going into the gym is tough, and it is even more difficult to mentally muster up the strength to do so if you have an arm injury or hand injury. So if...

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

3 Steps to Prevent Soccer ACL Injuries

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury

How to Train With Running Blisters

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

Megan Rapinoe

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries