Why Female Soccer Players Suffer the Most Concussions and Ways to Prevent it

Concussions are no joke. Most concussions are classified as mild traumatic brain injuries (mBTIs) and should resolve in 1 to 6 weeks. Additionally, some people experience post-concussion syndrome. It can include physical, cognitive, and emotional issues. Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and a loss of self. We know going hard is part of the girls soccer lifestyle, but safety should always come first.

Even more concerning, recent research presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) concluded that high school girls suffer a significantly higher concussion rate than boys. The study also concluded that female soccer players have the most concussions. Children and adolescents are even more susceptible to concussions than adults and are at risk for greater symptoms.

There is a possibility that female soccer players suffer a greater risk of injuries due to a lack of protective gear, in-game contact, and headers.

To make sure you stay safe we’ve rounded up the top three ways to prevent serious head injury.

Avoid head-to-head contact with other athletes

About one in three concussions suffered by female soccer players come from heading the ball. Of those, 58% are a result of player-to-player contact. Be extra careful. Before going up for the ball, check your surroundings and make sure no other players are making the same move.

If it looks like you may be facing off, fall back. Your safety is more important than making a header downfield.

Don’t overdo it in practice

You don’t want to be forced to sit out a game due to a concussion just because you went overboard during practice. While you do need to work on your heading to successfully and safely complete them during a game, know when to stop. It’s also best not to practice against other players.

Report any signs of head injury

If you suffer one concussion, you’re already more likely to get another. If you experience dizziness, headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and a loss of self, or even get hit somewhat hard, make sure to report it to your coach and see your athletic trainer.

Girls Soccer Network: Living the Girls Soccer Lifestyle

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