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Curry College women’s soccer team benefits from concussion incidence reduction program

Team photo: Curry College 2014 Girls Soccer team, coaches and South County Physical Therapy CEO and staff.

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: October 14, 2014

Contact Information:
Eric Cardin, SCPT Executive Director, 508-832-2628

MILTON _ The women’s soccer team at Curry College has endured its share of concussions in the 2013 season. Of the team’s 31 women on the roster for this season, nearly 25 percent of its players have suffered from concussions.

A concussion is a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside of the skull. Concussions can cause long-term effects to the brain that last for decades after the initial brain trauma, according to research presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In Massachusetts alone, in 2013, over 4,400 concussions and head injuries were reported in surveys submitted to the state by 360 public and private schools.

“This is a big, big topic,” said Physical Therapist Assistant Carla Faucher, Assistant Director at the South County Physical Therapy, Inc. (SCPT) Auburn Office. “Concussions should not be ignored.”

Faucher is part of a team from SCPT that is trying to educate the community about ways to help reduce the incidence of concussions through its baseline testing, strengthening and education program.

“As a team you can’t afford to lose one girl let alone a quarter of the team,” Faucher said. “Teams count on all their players.”

Recently Faucher, whose daughter is one of the captains on the Curry College soccer team, and was one of the players who suffered a concussion, presented an hour-long program that included a strengthening circuit that can be incorporated into the soccer team’s practices to help try and reduce the incidence of concussions.

“I am so thankful that Carla Faucher and members of South County Physical Therapy, Inc. were able to recently work with my players. My staff and I take concussion prevention very seriously,” said Jason Tassinari, Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Curry College.

In Massachusetts, all physicians, trainers and nurses who work or volunteer at a Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) member school must participate annually in an approved concussion awareness program in grades 6 – 12. Additionally, the law also requires that non-clinical staff, volunteers and parents of children who participate in an extracurricular athletic activity at those schools document that they have received head-injury education annually.  Currently, there are still no single, comprehensive set of rules governing all colleges and universities on standards of care for concussions. There is also not a lot of information available in the way of incidence reduction prevention as it relates to concussions.

“There is a lot of post concussion information out there, but not a lot of information on what you might be able to do to help prevent a concussion,” Faucher said. “One of the most important things we need to do is educate coaches, parents, guardians, pediatricians, and the athletes themselves.”

The concussion incidence reduction program that South County therapists presented to the players involved training that included strengthening exercises designed for the core, neck, and for improving balance. Additionally, SCPT staff worked with the four Curry soccer captains during preseason, instructing them on the exercises and educating them on how to recognize those players who may be more vulnerable to concussions.

“Poor balance, posture and weak necks may make an athlete unprepared for a higher level of sport,” Faucher said.

This can also make them more susceptible to sustaining a concussion.

Strength training is showing very promising signs of helping to decrease the incidence of concussions, but public awareness is still in its initial stages.

“I’m confident that the techniques shown to my players by the South County staff will greatly reduce the amount of concussions my players incur in the short and long-term.  They were a professional, energetic, and knowledgeable group of women who really took the time to make sure all my players understood all the nuances and intricacies of all the exercises,” Tassinari said. “It’s definitely something we will do for many years to come.”

For more information on this program, call South County Physical Therapy, Inc.  at 508-832-2628.

For nearly 30 years, South County Physical Therapy, Inc. has been dedicated to providing its patients with quality, personalized rehabilitative care in an environment that is safe, comfortable and compassionate. As a privately owned company, the organization has given back to numerous charitable organizations in the communities it serves, and seeks to make a difference in promoting wellness and health awareness. The company offers six locations in Central Massachusetts that include: Auburn, Charlton, Millbury, Westborough (East Main Street and Oak Street) and Worcester. For more information, visit www.southcountypt.com.

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