Football Unsafe at ANY Age

To follow up on my last blog--It's one of the great debates in sports-- what can be done about the concussions & head trauma in American football?

We all knew in sports medicine the physical orthopedic toll a collision sport like football involves.
The brain injuries, the potential catastrophic consequences of these head hits? THAT'S DIFFERENT! Now that the reality has hit the sport so hard, parents are facing the decision whether to allow their kids to play at any age.

The dementia, the suicides, ( I knew Dave Duerson well as an orthotics patient), the debilitated players--IT'S SCARY! I have to admit, that I've been a fan, & still am ( go Bears), BUT-- now we know the reality- as presently structured- there is NO WAY to predict & NO WAY to protect the head from this consistent trauma.

It's a "crap shoot". We don't know how many hits, how often, how young causes concern.
Experts used to feel that numerous concussions were the concern, that those "bell ringing hits" we're the real risks--
NOW- the reality is no one knows how the "routine collisions" without getting concussions per se will affect these young players.

The average HS player probably sustains hundreds of head related micro trauma per season- how much is too much? NO ONE KNOWS!
The powers that be, (and they are powerful from the mighty NFL on down), have been dancing around this issue forever. Thousands of former players are suing the NFL about understating these risks in the past--pundits still claim that "you can take the head out of football"- train players to hit with the shoulders ETC, ETC.

The helmet was thought to protect- ends up its more like a weapon or makes the player feel indestructible, allows them to "hit like a missile"
The reality is there is no helmet technology that can stop the violent smashing about of the brain inside the skull-THERE JUST ISN'T!

If football is to survive, dramatic changes will be needed- can they go back to leather helmets? (WHAT?), when players knew they had to protect their own head? Can we look at rugby, which is a rough tackle game WITHOUT HELMETS?
Whoa-what to do? The incredibly violent hits & collisions have long been "the top of the marketing"( the videos, John Madden games etc.).
It's a bummer, but it's the truth, "Football", as we know it is UNSAFE AT ANY AGE!
Parents-make your decisions wisely!

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    The Sports Doctor

    Born and raised in New York, I've practiced podiatry and sports medicine for over 30 years in the Aurora- Naperville area (almost BUT NOT QUITE LONG ENOUGH to lose my NY accent ). You can check that out for yourselves by listening to Sports Doctor Radio, on http://www.healthylife.net/ Join me live Wednesday's, 3-4 pm. CST. The Sports Doctor was formerly on WDCB 90.9 FM in Chicago for more than 20 years. The Sports Doctor is also read in newspaper columns including The Aurora Beacon News and the Naperville Sun. Also please 'like' my Facebook page, "Sports Doctor Radio" and follow me on Twitter @SportsDocRadio to keep in touch! Go to sportsdoctorradio.com to hear many past shows and read my many articles. My specialty in sports medicine is orthotic therapy, combined with specific training and strengthening of the feet and ankles. I've been fortunate enough to have worked with some of the best athletes in all sports including many of the Super Bowl Bears back in the 80's, tennis greats John McEnroe and Tracy Austin, and numerous Cubs and White Sox. A true highlight of my career was watching Naperville's hometown figure skater Evan Lysacek, who I first saw as a nine-year-old and put orthotics in his skates, win the 2010 Olympic Gold Medal for men's figure skating with his orthotics (updated of course!) still in his boots. These high performance youngsters still remain my passion. Another big interest of mine is the challenge of our countries greatest epidemic: childhood obesity. Join me on Facebook and Twitter for updates on this important topic.

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