Did you know that some of the most common sports-related injuries are concussions? Every year, an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States. As you prepare for the school year and sports season to begin, now is a great time to discuss sports-related injuries.
What are Concussions?
Concussions are mildly traumatic events that occur when the brain rapidly moves against the skull after the head is struck, temporarily impairing how it functions and processes information, and usually occur during high contact sports. A concussion is most often caused by coming into contact with an opponent, or a piece of equipment. It can take high school athletes longer to recover than those in college, and they are also three times more likely to obtain a second concussion. This particular type of injury most frequently occurs during football for males and soccer for females.
Symptoms of Concussions
Since concussions are a disturbance of the brain, they can cause emotional and physical side effects. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- unclear thinking
- memory loss
While these symptoms tend to disappear around 10 days after the trauma takes place, they could worsen if the injury is not properly diagnosed.
Concussion Recovery and Treatment
If you think a concussion has taken place, it is best to seek immediate medical attention. Most head trauma can be healed by rest, but it is important to keep a close eye on symptoms that can indicate a worsening condition. Concussions can be damaging to the brain if not treated correctly, or if the athlete returns to high-contact sports too early. Contact a physician at Campbell Clinic to discuss when it’s safe to return to the field.
While concussions are not completely avoidable in the sports world, there are ways to decrease your chances of a reoccurring injury. It’s important to wear the right protective equipment, follow safety rules, be aware of your surroundings and practice good sportsmanship. The use of required helmets in contact sports has helped to decrease head injuries as well.
Contact Campbell Clinic
Campbell Clinic’s Sports Concussion team is specially trained to handle concussions and concussion symptoms. If you think you or your child is suffering from a concussion, please visit Campbell Clinic as soon as possible.
This article was adapted from Nationwide Children’s, OrthoInfo, and Brainline. Read the full articles here, here and here. If you have any questions about keeping your child safe in sports, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.