Head Concussions and Football
While the numbers are staggering, they don't tell the whole story. NFL players have been the focus of widespread media attention over the past decade, and concussions have become a big topic of discussion. However, despite the widespread media coverage, efforts to limit brain damage have been lagged. It's time for the NFL and other football organizations to take a more proactive approach. A better understanding of how the game affects the brain will be key to protecting players and keeping the sport safe.
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The NFL has implemented new rules in response to recent research. The new "Heads Up" training program is a significant step forward. The goal of this initiative is to reduce the number of concussions in the NFL. In addition, the NFL is trying to ban the head-on blocking and tackling technique, which may
Result in lower numbers of concussions. Another important step is the introduction of head-on vertical tackle styles.
The National Football League considers players who play through injuries to be "real men." However, the long-term effects of repeated blows to the head can be devastating to a player's life. In 2012, U.S. Congress held a hearing on the effects of head trauma on young athletes and their families. The repeated blows to the head can lead to a number of symptoms later in life, including depression, low motivation, and problems with learning and memory.
In 2002, the American Academy of Neurology published a study laying out the three different grades of concussions. While Grade 1 concussion involves a transient confusion, Grade 2 entails a complete loss of consciousness, and Grade 3 involves a blow to the head. Furthermore, the authors of the study outlined guidelines for returning to play after a concussion.
While it's difficult to determine the specific causes of concussions, the research has found that traumatic brain injury is more prevalent during practice and preseason training. The NFL Players Association's own study also showed that head-impact exposure during the first few weeks of the season was the cause of more than half of the cases of concussions. They also noted that children and young people who participate in youth football may have an increased risk of developing the disease.
Many football players are not willing to admit they have had a concussion. They don't want to be taken out of the game. They don't want to disappoint their teammates or deal with the hassle of concussion protocols. Others continue playing for the old-fashioned stigma associated with football, which is that it's weak to stop playing if you're injured. While it's understandable that the NFL would prefer protect its players, the risks of long-term neurologic injuries are too high.
The number of concussions isn't the only factor to consider. In addition to the frequency of concussions, the total amount of brain trauma is more important than the number of individual concussions. The vast majority of players who suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy are linemen. These players often get hit in the head while trying to block. They are also the most likely to be involved in dangerous situations.
Some players aren't willing to get medical attention. They don't want to miss the game. They don't want to disappoint their teammates or go through the hassle of the concussion protocol. The NFL must take head injuries in football seriously. The controversy doesn't just involve the NFL. In some countries, the International Rugby Board is also facing controversy over football and head injuries. The NFL has to take this issue seriously.
There are a number of other reasons why football players shouldn't play. One reason is that they don't want to miss a game. They don't want to disappoint their teammates. This is a very valid concern, but a player should still consider the safety of themselves and others. They should always be evaluated by a professional medical team. Besides, the NFL should not allow players to play until they have been properly cleared by a doctor.