Sunday, March 14, 2010

Protective Headgear

Protective Headgear in Soccer

***REMEMBER: THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO SWAY SOCCER PLAYERS TO WEAR HEADGEAR OR NOT, IT IS PURELY EDUCATIONAL!! THE USE OF PROTECTIVE HEADGEAR IS COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY.

Recently, the issue of protective headgear for soccer players has become more popular. No major governing body of soccer (ie. FIFA, USSF) mandates the use of this headgear, but voluntary use has been approved.

There is conflicting evidence regarding the effectiveness of protective headgear in soccer. While some researchers claim that it can help reduce the risk of concussions and the 'sting' of the ball, other researchers believe this cannot be proven scientifically due to insufficint biomechanical data. Conditions replicating linear heading of a soccer ball have been attempted in various studies, but rotational forces that are common in soccer may be too difficult to replicate.


-Bruce, S, Cantu R, Ferrara M, Guskiewicz K, Kelly J, McCrea M, McLeod T, Putukian M. National athletic trainers' association position statement: management of sport-related concussion. J Athl Train. 2004;39:280-297.


PROS of protective headgear:
-Headgear can be used to reduce the 'sting' of impacts from the soccer ball
-Manufacturer's claim their headgear reduces the probability of a concussion by 50%
-Often, it is recommended to provide futher protection to those soccer players who have a history of concussions

CONS of protective headgear:
-Might cause athletes to play more aggressively due to a false sense of security therefore causing more head and cervical injuries in the sport (the superman effect)
-The headgear is not intended to be used in return more quickly from a previous concussion
-Concussions can still occur in soccer while wearing protective headgear
-Scientific research has not yet proven the effectiveness of protective headgear.

There are 3 types of headgear that meet the standards (F2439-06) set by the American Society for Testing and Materials:
DjOrthopedics 'Hat Trick' http://www.djortho.com/
Full90 Sports 'Premiere A' http://www.full90.com/
ForceField Protective Headband http://www.forcefieldheadbands.com/

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