20 Sep Confusion over Concussions
With school underway, children return to organized sports activities, such as football, soccer, track and field, field hockey, and cross-country running. This is a great time for healthy exercise, dramatic competition, and the development of teamwork, pride, and cooperation.
But any competitive sport runs the risk of injury, including concussion, which has been making headlines in recent years owing to a dramatic increase of publicity and awareness concerning the long-term effects of repeated concussion events. This has been a tough topic for football lovers, especially, given the publicity swirling around a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which refers to brain injury coming from repeated concussions over a football career.
The implications of CTE are severe. The condition is marked by instability in mood, personality, memory, and traumatic confusion. A rash of suicides among former National Football League players dealing with the after-effects of their football careers has brought national concern to the problem.
Thankfully, this concern has largely filtered down to concern at the college, high school, and even pre-high school levels of organized football. If a member of your family is playing any competitive sport, however, some risk of concussion is involved.
And when it happens, contact 619-333-8114 to better understand the problem and have a treatment plan for you or your loved one.
What, as parents, do you need to know?
- Make sure the coaches, advisors, chaperones, trainers, teachers, and assistant coaches are all aware of the signs of concussion and how to react to it.
- Become aware of the warning signs of a concussion and what to look for immediately and in the days following a jolt that involves head or body
- Make sure school administrators and health staff are aware of any concussion event that may have occurred to your child
- Make sure you seek proper medical care with any concussion event, even ones that appear mild
Speaking from experience, it is clear that many parents sitting on the sidelines of a sporting event are confused about how to react to a potential concussion that may have occurred. They are confused about why a player remains in a game after a jolt and why some players are removed from a game when they haven’t witnessed a particular event that may have resulted in a concussion. Here are some myths and facts to contemplate about concussions.
- You don’t need to be hit on the head to suffer a concussion. This is because a concussion occurs inside the skull when the brain forcefully collides with the skull. This can occur when the head moves suddenly, which means a blow to the body can rattle the brain similar to the way a blow to the head can.
- You don’t need to be unconscious to have a concussion. It is safe to say the worst blows to the head will render someone unconscious. However, most concussions occur without someone losing consciousness.
- Think of a concussion as a bruise to the brain. Since you can’t see this type of bruise, however, you must look for other signs that one has occurred and you must be more cautious – err on the side of caution – if you even suspect a concussion has occurred.
- One concussion puts someone at greater risk of suffering another and, of course, puts someone at risk of re-injuring a bruise that has not fully healed. This can result in much longer times to heal and may result in permanent damage.
It is, of course, important to recognize the signs of a concussion. As noted, you cannot see a bruised brain, so outward signs are the best indication a concussion has occurred. Look for these symptoms:
- Mood changes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Memory loss – including (and often) no recollection of the moment the injury occurred
- Slow reactions mentally or physically
- Sudden fatigue
- Low spirits, depression
- Loss of balance
- Blurry vision or double vision
Pacific Medical Care is an internal medicine, and pain management clinic in the San Diego area serving patients with cutting-edge treatment plans, customized to their unique condition who helps live lives with better quality. You can always set an appointment if you feel concussion symptoms or pain before it gets worse.