Football Players Need More Recovery Time Off Field

Kony Ealy, Clint Chelf

Is there ever a time in a football player’s life when they aren’t working to get better at the game? According to a recent study by PLOS ONE, football players need more than a six month period of no-contact to sufficiently recover from head trauma.

The study says that this trauma caused by contact sports will result in serious impact on the body.

“Repetitive head impacts (RHI) sustained in contact sports are thought to be necessary for the long-term development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Our objectives were to: 1) characterize the magnitude and persistence of RHI-induced white matter (WM) changes; 2) determine their relationship to kinematic measures of RHI; and 3) explore their clinical relevance.”

This study is interesting because we live in a time when it is required of an athlete to constantly work hard to better their abilities and help the team. How you can you practice a contact sport without contact? It’s pretty difficult.

PLOS ONE observed 10 Division III college football players and 5 non-athlete during the 2011-12 season. All players underwent “diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)”, physiologic, cognitive, and balance testing at pre-season, post-season, and after 6-months of no-contact rest.

Could this change the way coaches look at concussions in football? Head injuries are a serious health concern and this study proves that the down time needed to recover from one, is more than just a week in bed.

For more on this story visit: Kevin McGuire, College Football Talk; PLOS ONE