Tis the season for the most popular sport in America, FOOTBALL! But, what is astonishing is that it is not just football where concussions occur. Sports like soccer, wrestling, basketball, ice hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, gymnastics, cheerleading, baseball/softball, and of course skiing and snow boarding.
What is even more interesting is that girls report concussions more than males. Part of this might be the "macho" effect, but there is more to this than under reporting from males. It also tells us that there is more to concussions than the fact that athletes are getting bigger, stronger, and faster.
Check out the study published in Clinical Sports Medicine 2011, January issue, volume 1, pages 1-17. Here is the link if you have access to this article CLICK HERE.
It is also no surprise to anyone that athletic participation across genders has increased when we compare 1982-1983 to 2007-2008. But, it will blow your mind at how drastic this increase has been.
Those of us who follow athletics know about the growing participation, competition, and support of high school athletics. High school athletes are also getting bigger, stronger, and faster with aspirations for professional athletics. Therefore, it is not surprising when researchers and doctors see a rise in concussions and other serious injuries in high school athletes.
Understand the terminology:
Concussion is a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It is a trauma-induced alteration in mental status that may or may not involve loss of consciousness.
TBI happens with head injury due to contact with acceleration/deceleration forces.
Check this out:
1. Seek medical attention if either the parent or athlete notice these signs or symptoms:
Rest from physical and mental activities. This means that television, computers, and music should be limited. That is right, NO VIDEO GAMES! These activities might make symptoms worse. Eating well balanced meals with adequate hydration are key to recovery.
Play by the rules and practice good form when it comes to tackling, wrestling, etc. Identify if there are any trouble spots on the field that may increase risk for an abnormal fall. Make sure you are using the right sports equipment.
Bottom line: practice good technique and focus on strengthening and conditioning. This is most important.
Too many athletes focus on getting "big" or "ripped". But a good looking physique does not guarantee prevention of injury. Workout with purpose and intention. Think about the muscles your are working out. Know your anatomy. This is what makes working out fun. Take your time and take your workouts and nutrition seriously. Surround yourself with people who care about your health instead of pushing products. Being in private practice and becoming involved in my community, I meet a lot of people and small businesses. I must say, there are products out there, exercises, diets, and ideas that are just NOT SAFE. Please consult with your doctor before doing or taking anything.
4. Never ignore a head injury. When in doubt, sit the athlete out.
"He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all."