EXETER, NH – A recent Washington Post article chronicles new studies of high school and collegiate athletes that have shown females suffer from concussions at higher rates than males in similar sports. For example, in a recent analysis of female softball players versus male baseball players, the female athletes experience concussions at higher rates than the males. The same goes for basketball and soccer. According to the same study there were even higher rates of concussions reported in female ice hockey players than male football players.
Dr. Kevin Heaton is a Concussion Management Specialist at Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics who sees a high volume of concussion patients daily, both male and female. He says this study isn’t news to the concussion world.
“We have known for awhile now that there tends to be higher rates of concussion in females versus males, even when we look at the same sport. What we don’t know is exactly why. Is it that females on average have smaller and weaker neck musculature that leads to higher forces when they sustain impact to their torso or head? Is it that females are more likely to report symptoms after an injury? Do hormones play a role in concussion and recover? At Access Sports Medicine we have taken concussion prevention very seriously. For this reason we offer our concussion patients, male and female, a neck strengthening program at the conclusion of their recovery, hoping this might decrease potential concussions in the future,” Dr. Heaton stated.