Lacrosse players who wear protective headgear have a lower rate of head and face injuries as well as concussions, a new study shows.
The research -- presented at the recent Annual Meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine -- investigated the effect of headgear use on the rate of head and face injuries in high school women's lacrosse.
There has been controversy over whether using helmets in women's lacrosse would increase or decrease the rate of head injuries, lead researcher Dr Samuel L. Baron explained.
The prospective cohort study involved eight varsity and junior varsity women's lacrosse teams, as well as their game opponents, who were mandated to wear F3137 headgear for all practice and game events during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Athletic trainers assessed and documented all injuries that occurred, and injury rates were compared with those from the High School RIO (Reporting Information Online) injury data reports from the 2009 to 2016 seasons. Athlete exposures were estimated based on the number of team practice and game events.
Over the study period, a total of 17 injuries were reported during 22,397 exposures for an injury rate of 0.76 injuries per 1,000 athlete-exposures. Two head/face injuries, both of which were classified as concussions, were reported for a head/face injury rate and concussion rate of 0.09 per 1,000 athlete-exposures. The findings showed that among the players wearing headgear there were significant decreases in rates of head/face injury, in-game concussion and practice non-head/face injury when compared to those in the control group.
Dr Baron and his team concluded that use of F3137 headgear was effective at lowering the rate of head or face injury and concussions in women's lacrosse. It also lowered the rate of injury to body locations other than the head or face during practice.