German Rosette: Medical breakthroughs could help soccer head-finishers.
MIAMI, FLORIDA, ESTADOS UNIDOS, May 10, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The impact of headers on the health of soccer players.
One of the most used and spectacular resources in soccer is the header. A very important technical action for the development of any match. A shot that, due to its nature, has recently aroused the interest of specialists in neurology due to the brain damage that this very common action can cause in the long term.
"According to a study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Health System, it has been determined that frequent overhead kicks can lead to concussion-like symptoms. "commented German Rosete.
Thus, the results of the study show that while soccer players are at increased risk of trauma from accidentally hitting an opponent or teammate, there is also a risk of sustaining major trauma due to constant head-butting of the ball.
The Jeff Astle story.
Jeff Astle used to be the classic striker of yesteryear, a footballer capable of sending any ball that crossed his path into the net. An idol for many years at West Bromwich Albion, Astle was the leader and the most important figure of his team. It would be in the 1968 FA Cup final where Astle would become a legend after winning the title, scoring in every round of the competition, a milestone for his time.
Jeff Astle would leave soccer with an important list of achievements and a legacy that would last forever in the memory of his club's fans. While the former England striker enjoyed his well-deserved retirement, 'the King' as he was nicknamed, was rapidly losing his mental faculties. Astle would suffer a significant cognitive decline that would end up being dizzying. At the age of 55, the former footballer could no longer remember his own daughter's name. After a struggle against his illness, Jeff Astle passed away in 2002, leaving an important legacy in sports, where his testimony would serve to raise awareness that had not existed until then. After his death, science studied his brain and determined that it was very similar to that of a boxer. For the first time in the history of sport, soccer was identified as the cause of a fatal brain disease. The final diagnosis was chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE, caused by regularly hitting the ball with his head.
Jeff Astle's family managed to awaken interest in this problem with the dissemination of the ex-player's story. The player's own daughter was the driving force behind the creation of a foundation dedicated to studying the relationship between soccer and neurological diseases. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Glasgow in conjunction with the foundation, an ex-footballer is three times more likely to die from a neurological disease.
Alan Shearer's growing concern.
The former Newcastle United and England striker is to this day the top scorer in Premier League history with 260 goals scored in 441 games. Having scored almost 50 of those 260 goals with his head, the British striker began to have a latent concern after experiencing a slight loss of memory at the end of his professional career.
"For every goal I scored with my head I scored a thousand in training; that puts me at risk if there is a link between the two. Soccer is a tough and brilliant sport, but you have to be sure it's not a deadly game." Shearer would state in an interview.
The legend's concern would inspire him to make a documentary for the BBC called: 'Alan Shearer, dementia, soccer and me'. In this material, Shearer embarks on a journey in which he shares with relatives of ex-footballers with similar ailments. The documentary also aims to expose the recent advances in science on the subject in an attempt to raise awareness about a topic that is not often talked about.
"I'm looking for answers that should have been known for many, many years, for example, why at least four of the members of the England team that won the World Cup in '66 have Alzheimer's".
Taking matters into its own hands limited headers in England.
England's Premier League announced a new rule last summer that would come into effect this season. The governing body of British football's top flight determined that there is a limit on the number of times a player can head the ball during training.
The regulation is clear on its points; only a maximum of 10 head strikes per week must be taken and these may not exceed certain distances. Although the regulations are intended to protect players, there is no limit to the number of match days, which in most cases are usually two per week, which does not imply any real progress in the prevention of new ailments.