Women’s Soccer Faces Brain Trauma Challenge With a Possible Solution

One moment Kiah Mahy is racing through the soccer field, battling to win a game, and the next, she is underneath a MRI machine, awaiting her status on a head injury.

At the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a recent study called the Einstein Soccer Study found that women who head soccer balls a similar number of times to men showed five times more extensive brain tissue damage than men. The study surveyed 98 women to determine the extent of brain damage from head injuries while playing soccer.

Mahy, who played as a midfielder for Montgomery College-Rockville, was among those tested.

“I think the scariest part is just how unknown they are – how big of a deal they can really be, especially for women,” Mahy told USA TODAY Sports . “It’s so important that everyone knows how bad concussions are in football, but I feel like that’s taking all the focus … that there isn’t any information is scary.”

The research showed women who headed balls a similar number of times to men, spanning from ages 18-50 through a year period, exhibited five times more brain tissue damage than their male counterparts.

This is not only shocking to the soccer community, but also scary to the female players themselves because, according to the study, it is the highest-quality research to date for gender orientation.

More and more reports of head trauma are starting to surface through the cracks, as over 250 former soccer players have suffered some sort of neurodegenerative disease, as reported by the Jeff Astle Foundation, which was founded to honor British soccer player Jeff Astle, who was posthumously diagnosed with CTE.

While research continues and studies find more and more cases of CTE in soccer players, 2nd Skull already has a head start to help soccer players reduce the impact of blows to the cranium. 2nd Skull is a performance tested headwear which athletes use to help in high-intensity sports, like soccer.

2nd Skull has a stylish, yet comfortable lightweight headband that can be worn by soccer players. For those that constantly experience contact, or in soccer’s case, frequent headers or for goalies seeing the ball come across, there is a skull cap that maximizes support to the entire head and is used to protect bigger blows to the head.

2nd Skull is equipped with a thin layer of XRD—a lightweight feature made for extreme protection with the use of urethane molecules that harden under pressure.

Even though females are more susceptible to head injuries than males, all soccer players should utilize 2nd Skull headbands on the field to mitigate impacts to the head.

More about 2nd Skull

The skull cap itself acts as an antimicrobial cap, featuring a thin layer of XRD® Technology, which is a high-quality energy absorbing material. The urethane molecules made inside the material work as a soft and flexible fabric, which suddenly harden under immediate pressure. Both the band and the cap have been extensively tested for safety measures. Through different biomechanical testing at independant labs in North America and the United Kingdom, the skull cap, when worn under athletic helmets, lowers both rotational and linear impact thereby improving the performance of the helmet.

2nd Skull won the NFL HeadHealth TECH II Challenge and was named to the Sports Tech Awards shortlists as one of the Most Innovative Sports Equipment or Apparel products. The caps and headbands are designed to be both effective in reducing impacts and geared for comfort. For a 2nd Skull product that best tailors to your sport, visit their website and order directly from them as well.

Note: Scientists have not reached agreement on how the results of impact absorption tests relate to neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions.  No conclusions about a reduction of risk or severity of neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions, should be drawn from impact absorption tests.