Concussion Prevention in Football

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Concussions are classified as brain injuries that result from traumatic events. These injuries can be obtained when blunt objects penetrate into the heads or necks of the footballers affecting the brain’s skull; thus, leading to brain bruises. Concussions themselves cause the symptoms of dizziness, head pain, blurred vision but one of the most risks that are linked with concussions is the chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is the result of recurring traumatic brain injuries. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease as it causes corporeal deterioration of brain mass. Keen Medical Practitioners have discovered that the National Football League (NFL) is a regular dangerous source of concussions (Brooke).

Football players are constantly experiencing the highest concussion rates. According to Abraham et al. (1), football is the most popular sport in the world. It is estimated that there are two hundred and seventy million people who play at different professional and organized levels of football; thus, its collective contribution to sport-related concussions is likely to surpass other sports. Furthermore, scholars who study the issue argue that the awareness of concussions remains underdeveloped in many states where football is dominant. Such conditions contribute to more undiagnosed cases of concussions, improper management, and high risks of neurological consequences to football players. Concussions amongst the football world are severely impairing players’ health because of the countless concussions attained, but fortunately there are ways to bring awareness and help the issue through proper training and coaching, rule enforcement and adjustment, and proper equipment use.

Most football players are at higher risk of acquiring concussions when they are not trained on how to tackle correctly or do not have proper conditioning by their coaches. High rates of concussions are the result of the top of head effects, when players have their heads down during impact. Moreover, improving the training of head-up tackling is highly recommended. Football players should be taught about the heads-up tackling tactic called “Dip n’ Rip” where a player should be able to stop the ball holder in an up push, across the shoulders as well as the chest and avoid leading by their helmets. Intensive implementation of heads-up tackling approaches can help in curbing many cases of concussions among football players.

Rosemarie Scolaro, a neuropsychologist for sports-related concussions, claims that football players across all ages need proper training to engage in contact sports (Brooke). Otherwise, inadequate training programs for the development of contact skills will defeat the age setting designation. This threat calls for well-trained coaches to train on safe skill contact practices, to enable footballer players to tackle concussions at any age even when the player has transitioned to game contact. Coaches should be able to instruct their players the proper tackling technique, to hit with their shoulder not their head. Human brains are vulnerable to concussions and the impacts caused can be overwhelming (Tips on Concussion Prevention).

Sports are pertinent in the overall development of a person, necessary resources and support should be provided to players to make them safer, whether the sport entails contact, noncontact, or collisions. Training players to avoid using the head as a primary focal point of contact as well as strength training will assist in the reduction of concussions. Experts of concussion and physical therapists suppose that one of the major means of preventing concussion in football is through neck strengthening, believing that stronger muscles of the neck will cushion against forces that can cause a concussion and also lessen them.

By asserting that the general strength of the neck is the vital concussion predictor, with concussion odds falling by a certain percentage for each increase in the collective strength of a neck. Studies have also shown that the players that have weak necks are more prone to suffering from the highest number of concussions as compared to those with strong necks (Brooke). Strengthening the neck through conditioning will assist in the prevention of conconcussions due to evidence that a stronger neck can absorb more of the blow from impact. Thus meaning, the more the muscle absorbs, the less stimuli will reach the brain. The evidence depicts that programs on his, her, their, etc. neck strengthening can be a very effective inexpensive mechanism of preventing concussions that can also be simple to adopt.

Neck training would although be a timely exercise due to the weak fibers the neck naturally has; therefore, athletes would have to do their exercises in eight to twenty reps. The neck is very complex and flexible, so many exercises must be performed properly to prevent injury from conditioning. To prevent strength training injury, there should be many precautions and methods coaches need to acknowledge. Training should be coordinated by each exercise including two different motion points rather than attempting to work all motions. By splitting training days into different programs helps athletes focus on certain areas of their neck so that they can train efficiently and safely (Dellasega). However, it does not mean that football players with stronger necks cannot get concussions but the strengthening of the neck is a potential as well as an important tool for preventing concussions.

While athletes can be trained to protect themselves from head-on tackling, rule enforcement and adjustment will assist in making the game safer. The NFL has done away with full-contact activities and allows only fourteen full-contact practices a season–that is less than one in a week. A reduction in full-contact activities is decreasing at college level football. Limits have been imposed on full-contact activities allowing only two full-contact activities to be conducted in a week. Correspondingly, the NCAA Division I guidelines had been altered to reduce live-contact practices to once or twice a week. Evidence has proven that concussions occur more in high intensity settings. This strategy is effective for adult football players as it will ease the burden of impacts on their heads (Johnson). In high-school levels, full-contact practices have also been recommended.

States that have implemented this have recorded a decrease in concussions during the activities with a decrease in brain injuries in the course of the game. Full-contact duration has also been limited during practices and stopping full-contact practice during the first week. The NFHS guidelines advocate for state player associations to simply allow two to three practical sessions per week and lessening full-contact activities on regular sessions and during activities carried outside of the traditional football season falls (Brooke). By implementing rule adjustments, brain injury risks will be reduced; thus, preventing concussions among players. Players can also benefit by enforcing the ability to monitor head impact.

Developers of the Head Impact Telemetry System (HITMS) normally used in biomechanical studies for the measurement of helmet impacts, direction, and technology have incorporated a new helmet feature called Insite Impact Response System. The system advocates for global utilization of helmet sensors in football practices enabling monitoring from sideline persons of exposure to the impact, from a single blow that can lead to concussions or the collection of recurring concussive impacts, that exposes the player to brain injury risks (AZoSensors). Identifying probable injurious impacts through monitoring of exposures on head impacts in players not only facilitates the detection and management of injuries in time but also authorizes early intervention, in an injury advance.

The development of effortlessly deployable accelerometer systems for sports offers important and useful clinical data owing to its ability to supervise impacts in football practices for screening potential brain injuries. An accelerometer system is a device deployed in conducting screening as it alerts sideline persons of the impacts that have occurred, which is above the magnitude that triggers clinical evaluation and observation of the player. Although this technology may not be able to detect all types of impacts, its capability of recognizing a concussion before it progresses further is recommended (Brooke). Other identification techniques in preventing football concussions include training observers and players on concussions as they increase awareness among them.

Reducing impact during practice and monitoring head impact may be successful in highschool and higher levels of football, but rather than applying the changes to the younger leagues, the start of contact football should be delayed. Eliminating contact sports in younger players will lower the risk of getting CTE, which can cause memory impairment or dementia. Early symptoms of CTE have been identified in one out of three athletes who had played since youth(Goldman). Where possible, children should wait to reach middle school before they begin to play contact football.

Youthful players should be taught to handle contact sports safely at an early age to enable them develop the required skills for use. It is safer to train young players on how to play safely, while they are small to avoid detrimental circumstances. It is quite absurd when young players miss school for up to a month as they keep on treating concussions. These eventualities make them become weak in school and their grades become poor; therefore, justifying the reason as to why they should be delayed from contact activities until when they are mature enough to deploy certain skills. However, for those of them who insist on participating in contact football, they have to be taught on basic skills to avoid concussions.

The development of better equipment, for instance, mouthguards and helmets are an appropriate way of addressing football-related concussions. Although helmets are believed to lessen facial injury incidences and moderating severe cases of TBI and mouthguards aid in the protection against dental injuries, there is no clear evidence that the newest, and most recent mouthguards and helmets limit concussion incidences (Yasui et al.). Stakeholders should come up with designed helmets and mouthguards that can ameliorate impacts engrossed by the brain to dispel harmful energy, which results during frequent impacts. However, that does not depict that the available pieces of equipment do not prevent players from concussions. Players that wear poorly-fitted equipment, particularly those that contain air bladder liners which are under-inflated maximize their chances of getting concussions.

Consequently, football helmets should be fitting and those that are having airliners should be properly inflated to reduce shattering brain injuries and concussion risks. Helmets of all sizes should be developed and fit accordingly. Approximately 15-20% of helmets do not fit correctly or are not worn correctly every year. Football players’ heads from youth to adults differ significantly (Tips on Concussion Prevention). This trend calls for attention in the design of youth helmets as they have to be specific. Unfortunately, the development of size-specific helmets is slow as there are no guidelines on how they should be designed. Hence, research decisions including clinical detection techniques and helmet foundation programs have to be allowed to offer ways of improving helmet designs to help curb concussion cases.

Currently, progress is being made to introduce a neck collar to help prevent brain injuries. The Q-Collar is a neck guard designed to absorb the blast from a hit. Connecticut-based company Q30 Innovations made it with the intention for it to lightly clamp down onto the veins causing for the brain to swell and grow. Concussions occur when the brain jiggles in the skull, so by making it swell leaves no room for the brain to jolt. While the technique is radical, through testing and observation the device has shown success. Sixteen hockey players were studied throughout their season where some players wore the Q-Collar, and some did not. Through pre-season and mid-season significant structural brain changes were found in the players who did not wear the neck wear (Taylor). The introduction of neck guards in football can be beneficial, despite its current uncertainty. With the right research and dedication to introduce the new equipment, certification can be asserted.

Concussions have been a controversy in football for decades, yet so little has been done to resolve the issue. Although there are no definitive acts that can determine that injuries will be prevented, there are actions that can be taken to encourage prevention. The impairing injury can be prevented through proper training and coaching, rule enforcement and adjustment, and proper equipment use. There are endless steps that can be taken to account for players’ brain health, but those who play have to want to take the step. Realistically, coaches and players will not follow proper training and rules because it has been known to “affect the game”. The NFL is a prime example for putting the game before a player’s mental wellbeing. So, despite football’s worldwide contribution to mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), continued efforts in preventing concussions at all levels aid in reducing brain injuries among footballers.


  1. Abraham, Karan Joshua, et al. “Medical Assessment of Potential Concussion in Elite Football: Video Analysis of the 2016 UEFA European Championship.” BMJ Open, British Medical Journal Publishing Group, 1 May 2019, bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/5/e024607.
  2. AZoSensors. “Helmet Sensors to Monitor Head Injuries.” AZoSensors.com, 4 Apr. 2013, www.azosensors.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=153.
  3. Dellasega, Chris. “Neck Training to Prevent Concussions.” Athletic Strength Institute, 3 Aug. 2018, athleticsi.com/neck-training-to-prevent-concussions/.
  4. Goldman, Stuart. “Study: Youth Contact Sports Increase Risk of CTE.” You Are Being Redirected…, Dec. 2015, www.athleticbusiness.com/athlete-safety/study-youth-contact-sports-increase-risk-of-cte.html.
  5. Johnson, Greg. “Recommendation Made to Reduce Contact in Practices.” NCAA.com, NCAA.com, 28 July 2016, www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2016-07-28/ncaa-football-recommendation-made-reduce-contact-practices.
  6. Lench, Brooke de. “Seven Ways To Reduce Risk of Traumatic Brain Injury In Sports.” MomsTeam, www.momsteam.com/health-safety/seven-ways-to-reduce-risk-of-brain-trauma-in-contact-and-collision-sports.
  7. “Tips on Concussion Prevention.” OrthoNC, orthonc.com/your-health/tips-on-concussion-prevention.
  8. Yasui1, Toshikazu, et al. Do Mouthguards Prevent or Reduce Oral Injuries and Concussion during Sports Events? kokuhoken.net/jasd/global/file/report_ijsd_vol10_no1_7-11.pdf.
  9. Taylor, Tom. “New Collar Shows Promise for Concussion Prevention.” Sports Illustrated, 15 June 2016, www.si.com/edge/2016/06/15/concussion-prevention-technology-qcollar-neck-wearable-football-hockey.

Cite this paper

Concussion Prevention in Football. (2021, Oct 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/concussion-prevention-in-football/



What are 2 preventative strategies for a concussion?
Wearing a seatbelt and not texting and driving are two preventative strategies for a concussion.
What can athletes do to prevent concussions?
Wearing a helmet during contact sports is the best way to prevent concussions. Educating yourself and others about the signs and symptoms of concussions is also important in preventing and managing concussions.
What is being done to prevent concussions in the NFL?
In the NFL, players are being subjected to more rigorous testing for concussions and are being held out of games and practices for longer periods of time if they are suspected of having a concussion.
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