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By BEN STRAUSS
NOV. 9, 2015
The United States Soccer Federation unveiled a series of safety initiatives Monday aimed at addressing head injuries in the sport, including a policy that sets strict limits on youth players heading the ball. The new guidelines, which resolve a proposed class-action lawsuit filed against U.S. Soccer and others last year, will prohibit players age 10 and younger from heading the ball and will reduce headers in practice for those from age 11 to 13.
The regulations will be mandatory for U.S. Soccer youth national teams and academies, including Major League Soccer youth club teams, but the rules will be only recommendations for other soccer associations and development programs that are not under U.S. Soccer control.
“What we’re establishing is creating parameters and guidelines with regards to the amount of exposure” to potential head injuries, George Chiampas, U.S. Soccer’s chief medical officer, said in a conference call with reporters. He added that the science on concussions and youth soccer was still evolving, and so would U.S. Soccer’s policies.
Among the other changes will be modifications to substitution rules that are meant to better serve players suspected of having sustained concussions. The specifics of the new policy proposals on substitutions will be announced in the next 30 days, according to U.S. Soccer.
Currently, international rules allow for only three substitutions per game at the senior level, with no arrangement in place for a temporary substitution so a player with a head injury can be examined properly.
Increasing awareness of head injuries, especially after several high-profile cases in Europe and during the 2014 World Cup, have led some to press for rules changes to allow for concussion treatment, but so far there has been little interest in soccer leadership to alter the rules of the game.
U.S. Soccer’s initiative calls for more education for players, parents, coaches and referees, and for more uniform practices for handling youth concussions, and its officials said they hoped those efforts could lead to broader acceptance of the rules about headers by children and the treatment of head injuries.
Monday’s announcement resolved a legal case that began in August 2014, when a group of parents and players filed a class-action lawsuit in United States District Court in California charging FIFA, U.S. Soccer and the American Youth Soccer Organization with negligence in treating and monitoring head injuries. The suit targeted the Laws of the Game, which govern the sport internationally, as well as several American organizations.
The suit sought no financial damages, only rules changes, as FIFA joined other sports governing bodies like the N.F.L., the N.H.L. and the N.C.A.A. in facing a lawsuit over head injuries.
A judge ruled in the summer that the case against FIFA had no standing, but that an amended complaint could be filed against U.S. Soccer. The announcement of Monday’s initiatives will serve as a resolution in the case, and Steve Berman, the lawyer who brought the case, agreed not to appeal the dismissal.
“With the development of the youth concussion initiative by U.S. Soccer and its youth members, we feel we have accomplished our primary goal and, therefore, do not see any need to continue the pursuit of the litigation,” Berman said in a statement.
According to the original filing in the case, nearly 50,000 high school soccer players sustained concussions in 2010 — more players than in baseball, basketball, softball and wrestling combined.
In many cases, only dental professionals can help the estimated 80 million Americans suffering from the painful symptoms caused by improper dental forces, called dentomandibular sensorimotor dysfunction (DMSD).
READ MORE "...it is imperative to include the training for orofacial pain, particularly those from temporomandibular joint and musculoligamentous tissues.” JADA Cover Story, 10/2015, Vol. 146, Issue 10, Pg. 721-728
20% of your existing patients suffer from DMSD, as do 20% of all Americans. Your team members quickly assess patients for "red flags" (which indicate DMSD), utilizing TruDenta's patented technologies.
The National Institutes of Health estimate that over 80 million Americans suffer from one or more of the symptoms of DMSD, including:
• Chronic Headache
TruDenta uses digital force measurement technology, powered by Tekscan®, for evaluating the amount of bite force that is present during closure, at closure, and while chewing. The technology is so advanced that it actually calculates the bite force and motion on a tooth-by-tooth basis. This digital exam literally shows a movie of the bite force in action revealing abnormal forces in the nerves, muscles and ligaments that are often the cause of symptoms.
Bite balance is also calculated to identify potential issues within the overall chewing system. READ MORE
A normal opening for an adult is 53 mm to 57 mm. Limited or restricted range of motion (less than 40 mm) is a reduction in an individual’s ability for normal range of movement. Along with opening movement, an individual should be able to slide their jaw to the left and to the right at least 25 percent of their total mouth opening in a symmetrical fashion.
When restricted movement exists, an imbalance in the system is present, and breakdown of the system is likely to occur. READ MORE
The TruDentaROM is a system of hardware and software that digitally measures cervical range of motion (ROM) impairment based upon AMA guidelines. This directly affects the proprioceptive feedback system of the dental occlusion, TMJ, and the muscles of mastication.
ROM impairment is another “red flag” which assists doctors in accurately diagnosing symptoms that are often dental force related. This data enhances medical insurance collections and the collaboration with referring medical doctors. READ MORE
A typical case requires less than one hour of doctor time in the diagnosis and minor occlusal adjustments during the rehabilitation period.
Treatments are performed by a trained team member once per week, in less than one hour. The most severe cases require 12 treatments. Therapies are spa-like, non-invasive and require no drugs or needles. Most patients report dramatic results after the very fist treatment. Note: The majority of patients utilize an orthotic only during the treatment period, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. READ MORE
The goal of therapeutic ultrasound treatment is to return circulation to sore, strained muscles through increased blood flow and heat. Another goal is to break up scar tissue and deep adhesions through sound waves.
Therapeutic exposure to ultrasound reduces trigger point sensitivity and has been indicated as a useful clinical tool for managing myofacial pain. Additionally, ultrasound also has been shown to evoke antinociceptive effects on trigger points. READ MORE
Sub-threshold microcurrent stimula¬tion reduces muscle spasm and referral pain through low electrical signal. It also decreases lactic acid build-up and encourages healthy nerve stimulation. In particular, microcurrent electrotherapy has been shown to help increase mouth opening significantly.
• Reduces muscle spasm and referral pain through low electrical signal
• Decreases lactic acid build-up
• Encourages healthy nerve stimulation
• Increases mouth opening significantly
Low level laser/light therapy is one of the most widely used treatments in sports medicine to provide pain relief and rehabilitation of injuries. Over 200 randomized clinical trials have been published on low level laser therapy, half of which are on pain.
Low level laser/light therapy decreases pain and inflammation, accelerates healing of muscle and joint tissue 25 to 35 percent faster than without treatment, and reconnects neurological pathways of nerves to the brain stem, thereby inhibiting pain. READ MORE