In the wake of the extremely serious cervical spine injury sustained by Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett in a game against the Denver Broncos earlier this month, coaches and trainers are reinforcing their emphasis on techniques to reduce head & neck injuries in football. Here in South Texas, where football is a way of life beginning at a very young age, health information professionals can help by providing players, coaches, trainers and parents with current and authoritative materials on the risks and the best practices for preventing injury. Here are some suggestions:
- Heads Up: Reducing the Risk of Head and Neck Injuries in Football is a 15-minute video from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, which can be viewed online or downloaded for offline viewing (free), or ordered on DVD from NATA ($10).
- “Mass Times Acceleration Equals Force” is one of a number of helpful articles from the Prevention Library at the Brain Injury Resource Foundation.
- For a scholarly review of the issue: “Catastrophic Cervical Spine Injuries in High School and College Football Players” is a review of 196 incidents over 13 academic years that appeared in the August 2006 American Journal of Sports Medicine. [UTHSCSA link] [non-UTHSCSA link]
- This recent NPR story looks at the claim by some trainers that more extensive and consistent neck-strengthening exercises would help to prevent this type of injury.
Please add additional resource suggestions in the comments section.