What we know. During recovery, only so much rest is beneficial. When returning from a concussion, it’s important for an athlete to begin the process of active recovery — not go into a dark room and do nothing for days. “You take people and do that and they actually become worse,” Dr. Jeffrey Mjaanes, Rush University Medical Center, said. “After that, really trying to get them back to normal life, get them back to school, get them back to a low-level of activity seems to be very beneficial.”
What we think we know. Girls soccer players are ‘more honest’ about concussion symptoms than boys. A study published by the JAMA Pediatrics last year found that girls soccer players suffered 4.50 concussions per 10,000 athlete exposures while boys suffered 2.78 concussions per 10,000 athlete exposures. “It seems that the most likely explanation, however, is women are probably just more honest about their symptoms — more likely to report symptoms.” Restricting headers at the youth level likely will reduce risks. The measures taken by U.S. Soccer to ban headers for players age 10 and younger — and limit them for players age 11-13 — should decrease the likelihood of concussions and make young players safer.
What we don’t know. Is there a connection between CTE and soccer, as there is with football? How many concussions are too many? Could there be a catch-all diagnosis?