Heading towards brain injury: soccer study points to needed changes


A small study of soccer players and the potential for brain injury has indicated that the potential exists for players who “head the ball” over 1400 times a year. Now that sounds like a lot, but when you consider the training drills which rely on repetition it’s actually quite easy to reach that number in training, let alone active play. The study through Albert Einstein demonstrates the need to expand the study to a larger group. It also has identified the need for soccer coaches and players to look to alternatives to “heading” and reduce the “heading drills” during training.

With the NFL lawsuit in the news, the soccer study points to the fact that other sports can also pose a risk of brain injury for players and the need to improve safety, the vigilance of coaches and, in some cases, better equipment.

Click here to read about the soccer study.

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.

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