Concussions are a big topic in the news these days, and with school sports back in session, you have to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Concussions should be taken seriously. A person that gets a concussion could be in for big trouble.
According to an article from the American College of Sports Medicince Health & Fitness journal, a “sports-related concussion is caused by either a direct or an indirect force transmitted to an athlete’s brain, which results in postincident neurological symptoms”.
What are some signs?
An athlete may experience memory loss, headaches, blurred vision, light and sound sensitivities, depression, and even nausea. Concussions interrupt how the brain works and some doctors have suggested that someone who experiences a concussion should stay away from anything that will stimulate the brain. Some of the things that would need to be put on hold would be schoolwork (including tests, quizzes, homework, etc), cell phones, television, video games, and anything that requires the brain to function at a high level. Just like a body part needs rest after an injury, the brain needs to rest after an impact to the head. If school, sports, and electronics are resumed right away, the concussion could be prolonged.
Getting back in the game
One of the big things to be aware of too, is second impact syndrome. If an athlete returns to play after a concussion, and experiences another one, he/she could experience neurocognitive devastation or even sudden death.
It is best to check with a doctor about returning the athlete to the sport. Athletes will have to pass a cognitive test before doing so. Once an athlete does not have any symptoms, they can return to the sport under supervision of a certified athletic trainer. According to the journal article reference above “the athlete will undergo a graded return” and “the cornerstone of this protocol is the ability of the athlete to remain asymptomatic throughout the step-wise progression”. Once the athlete goes through the stages while remaining symptom free, he/she can return to play.
Parents, be on the look out at your child’s sporting event. Athletes of any age, do not risk your health trying to be tough and play through it. Please communicate with the team trainer, doctor, and your parents.
For more information on concussions:
You can read the article mentioned above here: http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2012/07000/What_Every_Fitness_Professional_Should_Know_About.11.aspx
Check out Boston University’s site: http://www.bu.edu/cste/news/