What is Concussion, and how should we deal with it in Sports?
Concussion is defined in many ways by different organizations and is a very important topic in the sport of football today. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary, but can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination or more serious affects. Concussion can be extremely dangerous and lead to permanent damage if not assessed correctly, and quickly after an injury occurs. Concussions are caused by a blow to the head. Concussion also happens at times when a person is violently shaken. These are common in contact sports such as football, and hockey. Some of the most common signs of concussion are listed as follows: headache, fogginess of thoughts, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or loss of consciousness. There should always be emergency staff on site during contact sports to evaluate this type of injury immediately. If you or one of your team members experiences this occurrence the best protocol is to be evaluated as soon as it happens. Once you have been checked and have seen a physician qualified in concussion evaluation there are a couple ways to improve healing time. One of the hallmarks of concussion healing is rest with no interaction. A person should limit themselves to no TV, internet, or phone and rest with little brain activity as possible. One can imagine the brain as bruised and you want to give it time to heal. Another way to increase healing is by eating well-balanced healthy meals and increase electrolyte intake. Vigorous activity should be avoided and practice and sports should be worked back into slowly and with an incremental increase to full activity. Return to play should not be done until there are no symptoms present.
For more information on concussions please call Dr. Jenna at 630-922-6500.