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Player sensors track football head injuries


Player sensors track football head injuries

The AFL is considering using impact sensors, which players wear behind their ears, to help monitor the potential physical and mental impacts of concussion.

To build on research done by Murdoch University this year with WAFL reserve players, AFL leaders have begun talks about a similar in-game study during a pre-season game next season.

Peel Thunder's reserve team this year became the first Australian Rules side to use the sensors, which monitor the size and frequency of head impacts during a game.

The sensors were developed in Seattle and first worn inside the helmets of National Football League players, before being used by top-flight rugby players in Britain and now in Australia.

Dr Mark Hecimovich, an associate professor at the University of Northern Iowa who is working with Murdoch's school of psychology and exercise, has been collecting data from Peel players all season.

He said he had made surprising discoveries about the frequency of potentially significant head impacts.

"We are looking at the number of impacts per game to the head and body, when and where the impact occurred and how much movement the brain undergoes," Dr Hecimovich said.

"We can then look at which players in which position sustain the most impacts and if a player does sustain a concussion, where the impact was on the body."

AFL officials have kept an eye on the study and are talking about a possible collaboration during next year's pre-season fixtures.

Dr Hecimovich said he had taken particular notice of "sub-concussive events", impacts that might not produce immediate concussion symptoms but could still have serious consequences.

Peel Thunder head physiotherapist Myles Murphy said he hoped that the data would shed light on why players who had a series of low-level concussions often suffered soft-tissue injuries soon after.

References and further information

Thsi article was originally produced by The West Australian


To view the original article visit The West Australian website


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