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### ODT Online Sat, 25 Mar 2017
Editorial: Using your head over concussion
OPINION It is the headache that will not go away. Concussion in sport is again in the headlines and has, sadly, shown the vast difference in how two high-impact codes, rugby and league, handle the issue and the welfare of their players. […] It has taken a long time for sports bodies to accept the full impact of concussion. In years gone by it was considered “a knock to the head” and players were encouraged to get back on their feet and into the game. Last year, The New Zealand Herald wrote a compelling series about the long-term effect of head knocks in sport. It discovered five cases of dementia among the successful Taranaki rugby side of 1964, which their families attributed to concussion during their playing days. […] The NZRU this year launched a blue card initiative, which is aimed at getting concussed players off the field. The blue card can be issued when a referee suspects a player has suffered a concussion. The player must immediately stand down for at least three weeks, and obtain medical clearance to return to play.
[2016 concussion series at nzherald.co.nz]
█ The Longest Goodbye: Rugby and the Dementia Dilemma
### NZ Herald 5:00 AM Sun, 26 Mar 2017
New study finds stronger necks mean fewer concussions
By Kirsty Wynn – Herald on Sunday
Rugby coaches are being urged to concentrate on improving players’ neck strength in a bid to avoid debilitating concussions. A ground-breaking New Zealand study has found players with weaker and uneven neck strength are more vulnerable to severe impacts that may cause concussion. The experiment by Otago University’s Dr Hamish Osborne and Research Fellow Dr Danielle Salmon used bluetooth sensors behind the ears of 23 players in the Otago Mitre 10 Cup rugby team to measure acceleration, or g forces, during impacts in five games. The neck strength of each player was also measured using especially designed equipment. Salmon said the weaker the neck the more severe the damaging “whip-lash” type movement. A higher acceleration force was also recorded.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
This post is offered in the public interest.