Medical Insider salutes major Celtic and Rangers change after confirmed behind-the-scenes news
Banning heading in Celtic and Rangers training the day before and after games is a positive step but it will not stop the main cause of head injuries.
That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis, speaking exclusively to Football Insider.
The BBC reported last week (29 November) that Scottish professional footballers are now banned from heading the day before and after games and will be limited to one repetitive heading session per week.
It comes after Glasgow University research suggested that former footballers are three-and-a-half times more likely to die from brain disease.
“I don’t think this is the beginning of the end for heading, personally,” Dinnery told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.
“The end of heading would be the end of the game as we know it.
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“What we need to understand is, we’ve always got to contextualise everything in regards to heading the ball.
“Ball-to-head concussive episodes or brain traumas are a very small percentage of those head impact injuries within the game.
“Head to ground, head to post and head to body all come into play.
“A lot of the issues you find further down the line are a culmination of those sub-concussive blows, the blows to the head you are not necessarily aware of and you can have as many as 500 times more sub-concussive episodes you have to concussion.
“The ones that cause the problems are from rotational force. Rotational force causes the severing of those brain connections which causes the major problems. Those rotational forces are caused by hits, maybe a challenge from behind.
“At elite level football, you see the players are well versed in how you head the ball. They set themselves properly, tense the neck muscles and focus.
“A very high majority of headers are absolutely fine.
“To monitor and be aware of the situation is a good step but a wider understanding of how we can combat the issue is still needed.”