ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Between 1.7 and three-million sports and recreation-related concussions occur each year. A concussion happens when the head and brain move rapidly back and forth and strike the inside of the skull. These injuries are complex – and often misunderstood.
Concussions are a hot topic in the world of sports. And while you may have heard a lot about these injuries lately – there’s also a lot of misinformation out there. Our first myth: a concussion always involves a direct hit to the head. In fact, whiplash, or a jolt to the body that shakes the head can also cause a concussion. Another popular myth:
“Some people still say it’s a bruise on the brain, and we know it’s not that. A concussion is basically normal imaging, so there’s no sign of bruising at all.” Explains Scott Zuckerman, MD, MPH Neurosurgeon, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
You may have heard that you shouldn’t sleep after a concussion but this is also untrue. The University of Michigan Health says sleep can actually be beneficial. Another fallacy: you have to lose consciousness to have a concussion. Only about 10 percent of concussions involve loss of consciousness. And should you always go to the ER if you have a concussion? The answer is: not necessarily. If you have mild symptoms, you can be cared for at home and follow up with a doctor within a few days. Our last myth: you can return to sports as soon as you feel o-k.
“A lot of people think that you should fight through a concussion, but we know that these days that can be very dangerous and that can lead to severe traumatic brain injury.” Stated Doctor Zuckerman.
The rule of thumb: you shouldn’t return to play until you’ve been cleared by a medical professional.
Some common signs of a concussion include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, dizziness, sleep problems, memory problems, confusion, and changes in mood.
Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer
CONCUSSIONS: WHAT’S TRUE AND WHAT’S NOT?
BACKGROUND: Concussions are mild forms of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. They are caused when there is a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. They can also occur when a fall or bump to the body causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. The most common causes of a concussion are falls, motor-vehicle related injury, sports, or unintentionally being stuck by or against an object. Symptoms of a concussion include thinking difficulties or memory loss, headaches, difficulty with bright lights, sleeping more or less than usual and sensitivity to loud noises. Some dangerous signs that the concussion could be getting worse are repeated vomiting or nausea, slurred speech, convulsions, seizures, and getting more confused, irritated, and restless. Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal itself. If you ignore your symptoms and try to go about your daily life that usually ends up making things worse.
THE STUDY: In a study done by the Henry Ford Sports Medicine Research team they suggest that high school athletes are not only at risks for concussions but may need longer recovery periods. The study looked at 357 athletes who were treated for concussions. The athletes ranged from 14-18 in age with nearly 62 percent of them being male. Football yielded the most concussions with 27.7 percent followed by hockey 21.8 percent then soccer at 17 percent with other sports lower than 10 percent. Fourteen percent of all these participants reported suffering from amnesia and 33 percent reported a history of concussions. This research team found that athletes with only one concussion on their records should require at least a 30-day recovery period. Others who have two or more concussions on their record require more extensive periods of recovery before returning to their sport.
REGULATIONS: When a player is suspected of having a concussion the coach or person in charge will remove them from the play immediately. If an athlete has lost all consciousness that could mean, there is a bigger brain injury going on and should be rushed to the emergency room. If the player is awake, they will next call over the athletic trainer to have an exam done. If the player has any red flags like, clumsy movements, forgetfulness, inability to recall events or things of that nature, the athlete is sent to the emergency room. If the athlete does not show any red flags they still need to sit out for the rest of the game because some symptoms do not appear immediately. Next the person in charge will inform the athletes’ parents about what is going on and the symptoms that have presented themselves. When the athlete is done in the emergency room they will not return to that sport until a medical professional says that they are symptom free and good to return.
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