CSA Medical Committee Advisories

Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Soccer Association and the CSA Sport Medicine Committee today issued a joint statement on the effects of heading the ball and the use of supplements.

Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Soccer Association and the CSA Sport Medicine Committee today issued a joint statement on the effects of heading the ball and the use of supplements. The CSA Sport Medicine Committee met in Ottawa from April 7-9 to discuss multiple medical issues affecting Canadian soccer. As a result of these discussions, the CSA and the Committee issued the following advisories on:
Heading the Ball
Recently published articles and reports have suggested that heading a soccer ball may produce concussion and traumatic brain injury in soccer players. Review of the current scientific literature to date shows no conclusive scientific evidence that heading a soccer ball causes concussion. Further research is necessary in order to separate speculation from hard evidence.
Creatine Supplementation
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance. Use by athletes has been on the increase because of claims that Creatine, when taken as an oral supplement, can increase muscular strength, size, endurance and weight. Other benefits have been claimed. Creatine, at present, is not on the banned or restricted list of substances of the IOC. The long-term effects of ingestion of excessive quantities (10-15 times) above the recommended daily allowance of 2 GM/day have not been studied and are not known. Caution should be exercised in the use or the promotion of this substance.
The CSA, in concert with a number of potential funding agencies, is embarking on a national research initiative to further investigate and clarify the effects of heading the ball and to explore the possibility of developing a proper technique of heading the ball.
“These issues, especially regarding the effects of heading a ball, have gathered a lot of attention recently and the committee felt it was necessary to address them,” said Committee Chairman Dr. Rudy Gittens. “Heading the ball has resulted in an array of different conclusions and it is important for us to examine it further. To date, there is no hard conclusive evidence to suggest that heading the ball causes concussions. We will investigate this further.” Dr. Gittens is also Chairman of the Football Confederation (CONCACAF) Medical Commission and is a member of the FIFA Sports Medicine Committee.

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