Footballer headers lead to balance problems for players, study



Web Desk: A new study has revealed that soccer players who head the ball often are more likely to have balance problem than those who do not head the ball as often.

The University of Delaware in the US said, “Soccer headers are repetitive subconcussive head impacts that may be associated with problems with thinking and memory skills and structural changes in the white matter of the brain,”

“But the effect of headers on balance control has not been studied,” Jeka said.

The study was conducted on 20 soccer players in which they were asked to take a balance test. They walked along a foam walkway with their eyes closed under two condition: with galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) and without GVS.

For GVS, electrodes placed behind each ear stimulate the nerves that send messages from the balance system in the inner ear to the brain.

The stimulator can make you feel like you are moving when you are not. In this case, it made participants feel like they were falling sideways, researchers said.

The study found that the players with the largest number of headers had the largest balance responses to GVS in both foot placement and hip adduction during the walking test, which indicated that they had vestibular processing and balance recovery problems.