Taylor Twellman Story (9/21/2010)

Originally posted on The Concussion Blog in September of 2010.  I would be interested to see Taylor talk about this in a reflecting manner and see if anything has changed with him and his thoughts on concussions in the sport he loves.

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Just ask Taylor Twellman, a soccer player from the New England Revolution how unpredictable they are.  In 2008 near the top of his game and the American leagues he ran full speed into the goal keeper, creating a whiplash effect on his body, most namely the skull.

To this day Twellman has not had a single day without some post-concussive effects.  He was only just recently, June, released to begin light activities.  Granted this is a professional athlete that has a career to think about, his health remains his number one priority.

Monique Walker of Boston.com ran a story about him and his not so quick recovery from concussion.

For our adolescent population this can be even more devastating, a delay in recovery could mean a decline in grades, an emotional disconnect from teammates, and a social decline in school.  All while the brain and personality are still developing.

If you get your “bell-rung” make sure you communicate that with someone who can help.

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Marquette Soccer Player Has To Give Up Soccer

Shannon Walsh has posted a two-part story about Marquette soccer player Scott Miller and his decision to forgo his senior season due to concussions.  The stories have been posted on TopDrawerSoccer.com (LINK to Part I) and are very informative, well worth your time.  Here are some excerpts;

In April 2010, Miller collided with a goalkeeper against Northern Illinois(m), leaving him with a broken nose and concussion. Though Miller experienced symptoms of the concussion, he decided not to tell the team medical staff or coaches, and was cleared to play ten days later against Milwaukee(m) in the Wisconsin Cup.

“That was the biggest mistake of my career at Marquette,” Miller said of his decision to play against UWM. “I told the team doctor and coaches that I felt normal and would be ready to play. Going into the game against UWM, I did not feel well but decided to play. It was one decision that if I had done differently probably would have saved my career.”

Underlining the need for awareness and education, Miller exemplifies exactly the stigma associated with concussions.  In retrospect Continue reading

Soccer Concussions

IMSoccer News (Inside Minnesota Soccer News) has created a wonderful post about concussions in soccer; this educational and informative piece needs to be seen by more than travel the IMScoccer website.  The focus is on the sport of soccer, which is a good place for us to gather information.

The National Institute of Health cites that 4-8% report suffering concussions in soccer, but they also believe that 90% go unreported or unrecognized so the actual incidence could be closer to 40%.

Julie Eibensteiner goes on to explain how one might sustain a concussion in this sport;

1.    Elbow to head and head-to-head contact when two or more players are contesting for ball in the air. MOST COMMON
2.    Goalkeepers getting kicked or getting a knee to the head or hitting head on goalpost.
3.    Body-to-body contact without direct contact to the head in which the head accelerates or decelerates violently.
4.    Getting hit in head unexpectedly with the ball and hitting head on ground after a fall.
5.    Deliberately heading the ball LEAST COMMON

NOTE: Typical boxing punch produces head acceleration of 100g v 20g for typical header. American soccer players head a ball 5-6 times per game and roughly 9 times at practice. In addition, FIFA’s Medical and Research Center concluded that “forces generally associated with heading the ball are not sufficient to cause concussions.”

Eibensteiner further explains how to handle coaching heading to the youth;

1.    Learn proper heading technique – contact with the ball at the hairline/forehead NOT the top of the head.
2.    Learn to properly prepare for contact with the ball and a mentality of initiating contact with the ball instead “letting the ball hit you.” This will prepare the neck and postural muscles to help absorb impact and force to the body and head …and make you a more effective player.
3.    Use under-inflated soccer balls or even balloons with younger kids (U12 and younger or inexperienced older players) until they get comfortable with heading and learning proper technique.
4.    Strengthen neck muscles
5.    Limit the amount of repetitive heading at practice to 10 minutes or less

A well-put-together post by IMSoccer News and Julie Eibensteiner, worthy of you time, especially if you are involved in the sport of soccer.