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Concussion – How Much Damage Can a Football Cause, Really?

Posted in Head Pain Disorders on Jan 21, 2016

If you play football in North Lakes, Mango Hill or anywhere in Brisbane (youth, minor or professional) who is your team chiropractor? If you don’t know the answer to this question, here’s why you better find out. A “g force” is the amount of acceleration you experience compared to the normal force of gravity.

For example, a roller coaster typically generates 9-gs (or 9x the force of gravity) and a fighter jet generates 9gs. It is estimated that bodily injury typically occurs when a person is exposed to or suffers an injury registering 10gs or more.

1. Bearing that in mind, researchers wanted to know to find how much force was involved with varying sporting injuries, including football. They found that a high-school level football tackle could easily generate 29 gs (so imagine a pro-level impact especially if you have two guys running straight into each other!). What should be even more alarming is that the impact associated with heading a soccer ball was 55gs!

2. It is estimated that 1 in 30 boys who plays amateur football suffers a concussion.

3. In the pas, players suspected of suffering a concussion might sit out a few plays before getting back into the game. However, there is growing awareness that even minor head, neck or shoulder injuries sustained from a sports tackle or head-shot is a serious problem. In April 2015, a US federal judge ruled that the NFL (National Football League, aka Professional Gridiron) is liable for the serious health complications that afflict many retired professional gridiron players. These problems include Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis [ALS], Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

4. Should it be no wonder especially that their players may suffer injuries 3 or 5x greater than the normal force of gravity? One of the major improvements made in all football codes, including AFL, NRL and FFA is that players who are suspected of suffering a serious head injury are assessed immediately by the training staff and a medical doctor for signs of severe injury.

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Concussion – Head and Neck Injuries in Australian Football a Problem Too

Concussion – Head and Neck Injuries in Australian Football a Problem Too

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If they pass, they are allowed back in the game; but if they fail, they are out until further investigation can be performed. However, what is lacking is a chiropractic assessment. Although the player may not suffer any broken bones or dislocations, the medical team is not trained to identify or correct subtle but significant misalignments (vertebral subluxations) that the player may have suffered in the injury. A 2002 survey of head athletic trainers in the NFL (USA) revealed extensive chiropractic use in the professional league:

  • 31% of NFL teams had an official chiropractor on their staff;
  • 45% of the NFL trainers had personally seen a chiropractor;
  • 77% of trainers had referred players to a chiropractor; and
  • 100% of teams reported that their players regularly saw a chiropractor not officially affiliated with the team.5,6

This survey was conducted 13 years ago, and with the rising concerns over concussions in professional sport (coupled with the excellent results that Upper Cervical specific chiropractic has demonstrated to helping athletes suffering post-concussion syndrome and related disorders: ***), it is highly likely that these numbers have risen.

If such a high-profile league such as the NFL incorporates regular chiropractic care as an essential part in keeping their players at their best, why should any football player settle for anything less here in Australia? The question needs to be asked again: if you play football in North Lakes, Brisbane or truly anywhere in Australia (youth, minor or professional) who is your team chiropractor?

Chiropractic is not simply a treatment if you suffer a back or neck pain. It is an approach to ensure that your body is working at its 100% optimum so that you can prevent sickness and pain. Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic focuses especially on the upper two vertebrae in the neck—the atlas and the axis—which influence the health of the central nervous system and the whole body.

Upper Cervical, or Atlas care is beneficial for people of all ages and with all ailments: whether headaches, shoulder, knee, foot or ankle troubles. It does not involve any neck manipulation, but is a precise and gentle correction that allows you recover quickly from injury and get back into life.

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If you play or have played football, whether or not you are currently experiencing any symptoms, please fill out the form below or give us a ring at the office—07 3188 9329—and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation to determine how we can help you.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-force
  2. Naunheim R, Standeven J, et al. Comparison of Impact Data in Hockey, Football, and Soccer. J Trauma-Injury Infection and Critical Care. May 2000; 48(5): 938-941.
  3. Nonfatal Traumatic Brain Injuries Related to Sports and Recreation Activities Among Persons Aged ≤ 19 Years — United States, 2001–2009. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 7, 2011.
  4. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2015/04/22/nfl-concussion-lawsuit-settlement-judge-1-billion/26192827
  5. Stump JL, Redwood D. The use and role of sport chiropractors in the national football league: a short report. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2002 Mar-Apr;25(3):E2.

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