Research shows that concussion rates double for NFL players during the winter season.
NFL players increased their chances of concussion by twice the normal rate on colder days. Also the risks for ankle injuries ran as high as 1.5 times the normal rate on winter days.
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Frigid temperatures seemed to play a pivotal role in this risk of incurring various injuries. The increase in injuries began when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius or colder.
This could be compared to players our in the field during temperatures that were 21 degrees Celsius or warmer. That was when the rate of injuries was near normal levels.
Also shoulder injuries were higher when the game took place on natural grass as opposed to synthetic turf. This increase was almost 1.36 times the normal rate.
The study was published in the journal Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine.
It compared the injury rates for five complications during the NFL playoffs between 2012 and 2014. A great deal of repartee had been going on regarding the concussion rate in the NFL as well the injury rates.
The first thing that needs to be done is to identify the causes of the injury. Once these are known, the players can be briefed regarding the precautions they are to take.
"There has been a lot of discussion recently about the significant risk of injury in the NFL and general player safety, particularly regarding concussions," said Dr. David Lawrence, lead author of the study and a clinical fellow at St. Michael's Hospital.
"The first step in improving player safety and lowering that risk is to identify the factors affecting injury rates. Once we can answer those questions, we can begin to modify player exposure."
NFL injuries are three times that found in the players of professional rugby league. They are also 25 times higher than the amount of complications found in the NHL.
Also concussion rates in the NFL are three times higher than in rugby. They are five times higher than similar injuries in the NHL. Injuries incurred in NFL playoffs may later on cause other issues such as osteoarthritis and neurophysiological illnesses.
A thorough understanding of those factors responsible for these injuries is a must so as to prevent them in future times.
The usual injuries that take place in the context of the playing field are starting from the most common to the least common: knee twists, ankle issues, hamstring pulls, shoulder sprains and concussions.
The list of factors that are causal agents are: surface of the field, climatic conditions, travel hassles and the result of the game. The research on the matter is limited and needs to be further pursued by scientists and sports physicians.
The link of injuries with daytime temperatures during the playoff is one that is not to be ignored. The effect of the cold weather on materials and equipment is phenomenal.
"Our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence surrounding this topic, but further research is needed" said Dr. Lawrence.
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"Applying this information may help inform future injury prevention strategies in the NFL, or other professional sports, and highlight the effects of these seemingly small external factors."