Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Headgear, mouth guards have little or no impact on reducing concussions in rugby players, study finds

Date:
November 5, 2010
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
Existing headgear and mouth guards have limited or no benefit in reducing concussions in rugby players, according to a Canadian neurosurgeon.

A recent review finds that existing headgear and mouth guards have limited or no benefit in reducing concussions in rugby players.
Credit: iStockphoto/Mike Dabell

Existing headgear and mouth guards have limited or no benefit in reducing concussions in rugby players, according to Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's Hospital.

However, educational injury prevention programs that promote proper playing techniques and enforcement of the rules do result in a significant reduction in concussions and head, neck and spinal injuries, Cusimano concluded after a review of existing studies on the topic.

Cusimano still recommends rugby players wear mouth guards and protective headgear because of the strong evidence they reduce mouth and face injuries and scalp lacerations and abrasions. He said equipment companies should be encouraged to develop more sophisticated headgear that could reduce injury risk. Current rugby headgear is soft-shelled, has thin padding and is primarily designed to protect the ears and the back of the head.

His findings were published in the November issue of the journal Neurosurgery, currently available on-line.

Professional rugby players suffer 91 injuries per 1,000 player hours, with each injury requiring an average of 18 days to recover and return to play. Concussion is the third most common match injury, accounting for 62 per cent of match head injuries. Cusimano said the number of concussions may be under-reported because of the International Rugby Board rule that athletes can't return to play for three weeks after suffering a concussion unless they are cleared by a neurologist.

Spinal injuries account for 9 per cent of time lost to match injuries by professional English players, occurring at a rate of up to 10.9 per 1,000 player hours.

"A large number of players, coaches and referees believe that equipment such as mouth guards and headgears may prevent brain injuries in rugby," Cusimano said. "Our study was the first to summarize what did and what did not work. Equipment such as headgear and mouth guards are ineffective at preventing neurological injuries, but other strategies, such as education and rule changes, have been shown to be effective. These sorts of strategies should be made available to all rugby players so that these athletes can spend more time playing on the field than recovering off of the field."

The New Zealand Rugby Union and the country's Accident Compensation Corp. developed a 10-point RugbySmart injury prevention program in 2001 that has resulted in a 13 per cent decrease in neck, back and spine injuries and a reduction in the mean number of days between an injury and a player seeking treatment (4.27 days, down from six). This also resulted in a savings of $609,690 (U.S.) from decreased compensation claims to the ACC.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael D Cusimano, Farshad Nassiri, Youjin Chang. The Effectiveness of Interventions to Reduce Neurological Injuries in Rugby Union: A Systematic Review. Neurosurgery, 2010; 67 (5): 1404 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3181f209f1

Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Headgear, mouth guards have little or no impact on reducing concussions in rugby players, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103135336.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2010, November 5). Headgear, mouth guards have little or no impact on reducing concussions in rugby players, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103135336.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Headgear, mouth guards have little or no impact on reducing concussions in rugby players, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103135336.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Work Can Be Stressful, But Is Unemployment Worse?

Work Can Be Stressful, But Is Unemployment Worse?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) A new study shows stress at work can be hard on your health, but people who are unemployed might be at even greater risk of health problems. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Google says it is following Europe's new "Right To Be Forgotten Law," which eliminates user information upon request, but only to a certain degree. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke Signs: Three Hour Deadline

Stroke Signs: Three Hour Deadline

Ivanhoe (July 31, 2014) Sometimes the signs of a stroke are far from easy to recognize. Learn from one young father’s story on the signs of a stroke. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Grain Brain May Be Harming Us

Grain Brain May Be Harming Us

Ivanhoe (July 31, 2014) Could eating carbohydrates be harmful to our brain health? Find out what one neurologist says about changing our diets. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins