Helmet-Less Training Program Spares Young Athletes’ Spines

Helmet-Less Training Program Spares Young Athletes’ Spines

This Blog Covers:

  • Researchers from the University of New Hampshire may have discovered a new way to minimize spine-related traumas from high impact sports.
  • A program called the HuTTTM Intervention Program is being hailed as a unique, effective way to modify tackling behaviors in sports like football and rugby.
  • The spine specialists at American Spine discuss the importance of maintaining a healthy spine while playing sports, and what to do if you injure yourself.

Not wearing a helmet while tackling another human being during a football drill may sound counterintuitive, but according to a recent study published in the medical journal Concussion, doing so may reduce head and spine-related injuries.

A team of researchers and coaches from the University of New Hampshire are studying the effects of helmet-less tackling drills in football. The two-year study completed its first year and the results are pretty remarkable. Students placed in the intervention group reported a 30% reduction in head and spine-related traumas compared to young athletes in the control group.

The program has students practicing tackling drills on an upright pad, tackle dummy, and teammate without a helmet or shoulder pads for five minutes during pre-season practice, twice a week. Once football season starts, these same students must perform the same drills, just once a week instead.

The researchers credit behavior modification for reducing concussive impacts and other injuries. Think about it: if you’re being asked to run head first into another person, you’ll probably modify your behavior to prevent your head, neck, and spine from absorbing most of the impact, right? Well, this idea has certainly helped players at the University of New Hampshire.

This new program may be beneficial for high school athletes as well, especially since high school football accounts for 47% of all concussions, 33% of which come from practice drills. More research from the study will be needed before the program can be introduced to other sports programs.

Still, if you sustain a spine injury from playing a sport like football or rugby, make sure you see a specialist in the field right away! Spine injuries are no laughing matter and can cause long-term health effects if left untreated. The physicians at American Spine specialize in interventional pain care and minimally invasive surgeries for the spine. The practice is equipped to repair damage and provide post-procedural pain management. If you or someone you know needs a spine surgery, call American Spine today to schedule an appointment with one of our team members! We’d be happy to examine your symptoms and provide a proper diagnosis.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.