Are Concussions Destroying Football? | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

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 an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How a Scan May Detect Concussion-Related Brain Disease

2 Game-Changing Protective Football Gear Products

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Concussion Awareness Takes the Stage in Congress

How to Protect Yourself From Heat Stroke This Summer

STACK Concussion Awareness and Prevention Series

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

3 Ways to Protect Your Knees and Prevent ACL Injuries

Play It Safe With the 5 Pillars of Heads Up Football

Concussion FAQs

Can a Mouthpiece Improve Performance?

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Reducing Concussion Risk in Youth Athletes

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Why a Sports Hernia Won't Ruin Jadeveon Clowney's Rookie Season

How Cristiano Ronaldo Can Defeat the Witch Doctor's Curse

Will Joel Embiid Be Able to Succeed in the NBA?

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Four Simple Tips to Understand and Prevent Concussions

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Should Women Lacrosse Players Wear Helmets?

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

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

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

How to Avoid Softball Pitching Injuries

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

How to Prevent Common Basketball Injuries

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

Female Athletes Need to Watch Out for Concussions, Too

3 Reasons to Correct Your Weak Links to Prevent Common Injuries

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

Protect Your Brain With This Neck Workout

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

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

Concussions Are an Epidemic in Women's Sports Too

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

Wear a Mouthguard to Prevent Concussions

Can Wii Fit Help With Concussion Rehab?

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

Study Finds Link Between Head Trauma and Brain Disease

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

Axon Sports Concussion Baseline Testing Giveaway

Learn From Brian Roberts' Self-Inflicted Concussion

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Protect Yourself With Battle Sports Science Gear

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

Are Concussions Destroying Football?

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

Can Soccer Lead to Brain Trauma?