BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Football gets the knock when it comes to concussions, but new studies are showing that female athletes are more likely than men to get these brain injuries.
Women's soccer, lacrosse and ice hockey players who take a hit on the field or rink, or cheerleaders who hit the ground hard, will have more symptoms and they take longer to recover. While doctors haven't been able to pinpoint an exact reason, most theories have a lot to do with anatomy.
"They don't have as strong of neck muscles as male athletes have, so the head gets whiplashed easier in a female. If that's true, then there's more force imparted to your brain and that maybe would produce more significant injury and longer recovery. There may be hormonal reasons," said Dr. John Leddy, UB Concussion Management Clinic medical director.
New concussion guidelines are set to come out in the next few months. One of the new recommendations is that people should completely rest for at least the first two days after a concussion. If they start to feel better, then gradually reintroduce light exercise.