Concussion biomechanics, head acceleration exposure and brain injury criteria in sport: a review

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Abstract

There are mounting concerns surrounding the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and complications associated with concussion incidence and repetitive head acceleration events (HAE) in sport. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of concussion biomechanics, head acceleration exposure and brain injury criteria in sport. Rotational head motion appears to be the primary contributor to brain injury risk due to the unique mechanical properties of the brain and its location within the body. There is a growing evidence base of different biomechanical brain injury mechanisms, including those involving repetitive HAE. Historically, many studies on concussion biomechanics, head acceleration exposure and brain injury criteria in sport have been limited by validity of the biomechanical approaches undertaken. Biomechanical approaches such as instrumented mouthguards and subject-specific finite element (FE) brain models provide a unique opportunity to develop greater brain injury criteria and aid in on-field athlete removal. Implementing these approaches on a large-scale can gain insight into potential risk factors within sports and certain athletes/cohorts who sustain a greater number and/or severity of HAE throughout their playing career. These findings could play a key role in the development of concussion prevention strategies and techniques that mitigate the severity of HAE in sport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalSports Biomechanics
Early online date23 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Head impacts
  • wearable head sensors
  • finite element brain models
  • contact sports
  • instrumented mouthguards

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