Home 6:49 AM Health&Nutrition

Athletes and Concussion

Athletes and Concussion

A look at the dictionary defines a concussion as: “A brain injury caused by a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head and body that could result in temporary loss of normal brain function.”

But how does that affect athletes?

Many people assume that concussions involve a loss of consciousness, but that is not true.

Concussion could either be with or without loss of consciousness and in many cases, there are no external signs.

There have been numerous researches done on “Concussion in Sports” but perhaps the most well-known research was done by Dr. Benet Omalu on American Football players.

Thanks to the actor Will Smith who portrayed him in a motion picture Dr. Omalu’s research got the spotlight that brought instant well deserved recognition to Dr. Omalu and the work he had done on concussion.

Sport-related concussions are common among athletes, and largely are either not reported by coaches or in many cases, due to lack of right education on the part of coaches, perhaps goes unrecognized.

Sport partaking by youth is an important developmental step in their lives and is believed widely it should be encouraged for its well-recognized benefits but nonetheless it should be accepted that all sports, to different degrees depending on the sport, carry a certain risk of injury.

Therefore efforts should be focused to reduce risks of injuries rather than trying to completely remove the risks.

There are several preventive approaches we need to have with the most important one being education.

Educating coaches, since they are the first ones present at the scene, is one of the most important pieces of the “Prevention Puzzle”.

Other preventive steps need to be taken are the use of safety equipment such as the proper headgear, mouth guard and face guards as it is done in taekwondo. In addition to better sports equipment, there is a definite need to modify or alter competition rules.

Evidence is limited to support the effectiveness of these preventive measures with the exception of rule modification in some sports. In the United States, laws have been enacted that require medical evaluation and clearance prior to return to play; however, the evidence thus far does not show that laws have been effective in reducing concussions in sport and more research is needed in all areas of preventive measures.

Sports participation is a complex personal decision on the part of the adolescent and his or her family. They should be provided with all information on inherent risks so that they can make an informed decision.

Head trauma Symptoms may include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness and excessive fatigue.

There's no specific cure for concussion. Rest and restricting activities allow the brain to recover. This means that one should temporarily reduce time spent on sports, video games, TV or too much socializing. Medication for headache pain or ondansetron or other anti-nausea medication can be used for symptoms.

If managed appropriately, most symptoms and signs of concussion resolve spontaneously. However, complications can occur, including prolonged symptoms and increased susceptibility to further injury.

The most important information we need to remember is that concussion usually results from a blow or knock to the head, but it can also occur from a knock or a blow to anywhere in the body."