An ongoing study of high school football players shows that the magnitude of impact does not necessarily correlate to the severity of injury, according to a news release.
Steven Broglio, PhD, director of the Neurotrauma Research Laboratory and assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology, and other researchers are studying the impacts of hits to the head during football practices at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Mich. Sensors inside of the helmets record data such as impact location and magnitude, factors that determine the causes of concussions. The data is then transmitted to a sideline computer where Broglio and others examine the measurements.
Broglio has found that the typical high school football player takes approximately 650 hits — up to a maximum of more than 2,000 — at varying magnitudes per season.
“We used to think that if you took a bunch of little hits, then you were more likely to get a concussion from a smaller impact,” Broglio said in the release. “But our findings don’t support that.”
Previous studies have shown that concussions result from hits at approximately 90 g-force to 100 g-force; Broglio now believes it only takes one solid hit to cause a concussion.
Broglio will continue to examine whether there are lasting effects from concussions.
J Neurotrauma. 2011 Oct;28(10):2061-8. Epub 2011 Aug 29.
J Neurotrauma. 2011 Oct;28(10):2069-78.
J Neurotrauma 2011 Oct;28(10):2079-90. Epub 2011 Sep 21.