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Stronger Necks May Reduce Brain Trauma From Soccer Heading, Study Says

Balanced neck strength may reduce the acceleration of the head during the act of heading a soccer ball, thus reducing the risk of brain injury from such low grade hits, says a 2013 study. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that strengthening neck muscles may be a way to reduce head injury risk from concussion and repetitive sub-concussive trauma.

Heading in Soccer: Long-Term Effect Remains Unclear

While it is possible that intentional heading in soccer represents a form of repetitive subconcussive mild brain injury which, over time,  could be a cause of chronic traumatic encephalpathy (CTE), the possible cause-and-effect relationship remains theoretical, says a 2012 study.

Reducing Concussion Risk in Youth Soccer

While a 2010 study found no evidence that purposeful "heading" of a soccer ball leads to either short-term (acute) or cumulative brain damage, such as cognitive dysfunction, concussion experts nevertheless suggest that steps be taken to minimize the risk of concussive injury to youth soccer players, particularly younger players.
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