More can be done to prevent head injuries in sports
ACT Head Impact Tracker. Because you should know. #heisACTingonit
Frequent head impacts occur in multiple sports, at all levels, and affect all genders and ages alike. Make no mistake, head impacts are not “a dedicated challenge” for few sports like American Football, boxing, ice-hockey and rugby. Head Impacts are also very much present in sports like football, basketball, handball, floorball, cycling, skating, scooting, equestrian sports, Alpine sports, motor sports and many, many more.
Head impacts may cause Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
and contribute to variety of brain diseases.
There is frustratingly little the modern medicine can do to them,
so things should not go that far. There is no medication, or cure.
Prevention is the key.
And it all starts with data.
THAT’S WHY WE CREATED ACT HEAD IMPACT TRACKER.
We are Northern Sports Insight and Intelligence, makers of ACT Head Impact Tracker measuring device for forces and impacts acting on a head while doing sports. WE LOVE SPORTS! Mental and physical benefits from being physically active are indisputable. But there are few negatives, so let’s work on those so that everyone can enjoy doing the sport they want and love to do.
Was the head impacted? How hard was the impact? Who was impacted? When did it happen? What is your impact history? When was your last impact? What is the time between the impacts? How frequently do you get impacts? How many impacts have you had today/this week/this month/this season?
There is no clear consensus of a clear-cut danger limit as expressed in linear acceleration (g-force), or that of angular speed (rad/s) nor Impact g-load. However, in many studies acceleration/deceleration under 40g have been considered likely not to cause permanent damage, but it can be extrapolated that the probability of permanent damage starts to increase in impacts within the range of 40-60g and higher. This when considering individual and infrequent impacts.
Rule of thumb: The more violent the forces, the bigger the chance damage occurs.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and concussions are cumulative in nature and even mild concussions can result in serious long-term problems, especially if an athlete returns to play too soon or has a history of previous concussions. Studies also suggest that it is possible that repeated head impacts can amount to subtle and cumulative brain changes, even if there are no concussions.
Rule of thumb: Brain needs its time to heal. Ensure it gets it.
A whole lot can be done to take down the risk and head impact load for the athletes. Educate on the issue; Address the importance; Act on risks relentlessly, Modify drills and trainings; Improve techniques for the most hazardous and/or impact plenty events; Set actions, restrictions and procedures and follow their compliancy; Measure the efficiency of actions taken; Aim for ever decreasing head impact load.
Rule of thumb: Improve the awareness and understanding, advocate the change in attitude and behaviour.
It is not just about the athletes, there may be other contributing factors to the incidents. The conditions, fixture and fittings where the athletes train and play may play a role too. Do you know which are hazardous conditions, fixtures and fittings, where they are, and if they are properly addressed? Rules and referees as enforcers to them are playing crucial role. Do you know if the referees see and act upon the incidents as they should? Disciplinary actions should be strict and send a loud message that all those who intentionally endanger the health and safety of other athletes will be acted upon. Are the events in the different levels and age groups reaching the attention of relevant authorities? Could simple and easy to use objective data and tools, like video and ACT Head Impact Trackers, help to getting visibility and transparency to the critical events no matter the level played?
Rule of thumb: Ensure safe environment and sport for everyone. No-one should fear for their health or safety when they go out there to play.
Which players are at the biggest risk (most impacts / biggest impacts / most frequent impacts)? Which positions played have more impacts than others? Who in those positions played is getting more impacts than their peers? What are the most hazardous events? Which drills cause most load and how to modify them? How to improve the techniques to decrease the impact load on a head? What is the difference between the teams, where is the biggest need for actions regarding? Which actions, restrictions and procedures should be applied to decrease the head impact load? Are the restrictions and procedures complied with (f ex. number of headers, size of headers, remove from pitch after an impact, etc.)? Are the restrictions and procedures applied effective and the trends descending in number of impacts, magnitude of impacts, frequency of impacts, etc. ?
We have been very fortunate to work with the best in class in our development and testing.
Our promise: We continue working hard every day to become ever better in providing objective, relevant and actionable information on forces acting on a head.
Your promise: Use the data to proactively improve the health, well-being and performance of athletes in short, medium and long-term.