Playing sports in high school is a great way for teens to stay active, develop social skills and learn discipline. It’s also fun, instills a sense of pride in your abilities and encourages a sense of healthy competition.
It’s natural for a game to get a little rough. Falling down and getting back up is just part of learning about perseverance. However, some young athletes might push themselves to the limit, particularly when experiencing a concussion. While playing through the pain may seem tough, it can be very dangerous. Concussions are considered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by emergency departments and if left untreated, can have serious long term consequences.
What Causes A Concussion?
Concussions are caused by a common bump, blow, or jolt to the head. This injury can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also happen when your body experiences a blow that causes your head to move rapidly back and forth or side to side. Even a mild “ding” can have serious consequences, especially for teenage players as they take longer to recover than adults.
Concussions can occur in any sport or recreational activity, so youth sports coaches and players should be made aware of warning signs and symptoms.
Symptoms of a Concussion
If one of your players begins to exhibit these symptoms after a fall or a blow to the head, they may be suffering from a concussion.
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Concentration or memory problems
- Does not “feel right” or is “feeling down”
Remember, the signs of a concussion aren’t visible so you need to make sure that you and your players are alert and well informed of the dangers of continuing to play with an injury. Toughing it out might make them feel brave, but a player could suffer from a host of issues- like memory loss, depression and anxiety if they choose to keep playing. Remind them that it’s far better to miss one game than a whole season.
What To Do In The Event Of A Concussion
The most important thing to remember in the event of a concussion is that a concussion is in fact, a brain trauma injury and should be treated as such. Any players suffering from a potential concussion should be removed from the game immediately and required to rest, no matter how mild the symptoms may seem. Players should not return to the game until they have been evaluated by a medical professional who can determine the seriousness of the injury. In fact, it is encouraged that all coaches have some form of action plan in place should any of their players suffer from a concussion during a game.
How To Prevent a Concussion
Injuries are a part of playing sports, but make sure athletes are wearing the proper protective gear at all times. Good sportsmanship should not only be encouraged but consistently rewarded. Players should also do proper warm ups to remain flexible and agile, which will help them avoid injury and maintain balance.
Despite this being a real, relevant issue, sports medicine has made a lot of progress since the early days of organized sports. Be thankful that our standards have improved and are continuing to improve in order to protect our children. Starkwood Chiropractic is experienced in many sports injury rehabilitation techniques that employ chiropractic medicine to heal. For more information about our Portland Sports Injury related services please contact us today.