Concussions are common incidence in sports. Young athletes suffer from hundreds of concussions on regular basis, mostly while playing soccer, football and ice hockey. Unlike what most people believe, concussion does not mean being “knocked out”. Concussion refers to a change in the state of conscious level, in which the mental status shift from normal to confused or traumatized. An athlete who shows symptoms of being dinged or mental confusion as a result of blow on the head is likely suffering from a concussion.
What is sports concussion?
Concussions as a result of a sport often causing physical and mental symptoms, such as forgetfulness, fatigue, headache, lack of concentration and dizziness. The symptoms of a normal concussion starts diminishing with 5-10 days and last no longer than a month. However, in certain cases, concussions leads to mental, emotional, behavioral, and physical changes that is called post-concussion syndrome. It is still unknown whether a persistent concussion results from psychological or physical cause. There have been a few sports related cases in which a repeated concussions happens over a short interval, and the athlete suffers from a second more severe impact which is the pathological nervous response that requires immediate medical attention
Evaluation of sports concussions
A sport associated concussion is mostly evaluated and managed as per the severity of it. Right after a sports related concussion, a medical intervention is recommended to determine how well the vital signs of an athlete are working. Medical professionals will study the conscious level and check for spine related injuries. Concussion guidelines released by the expert departments indicate that an athlete who faints, or lose consciousness while playing a sport requires an immediate medical attention.
- Neuropsychological assessment:
Neuropsychological assessment is one of the most recommended way to detect brain function disturbances related to sports concussion. The National Hockey League and the National Football league have established a neuropsychological testing program in which the athletes go through short attention, information processing and memory tests before a sport session. Players with sustained concussions are suggested to be tested again after the first concussion within 48 hours.
Treating or preventing concussions:
Changes in the game rules have helped to reduce the symptoms and events of concussions. For instance, in 1976, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced using of head in the game illegal. It reduced the number of neck and head injuries to 50%. The use of helmets in advance sports has also helped prevent head injuries. Adaption to the game with proper protection training helps athlete strengthen their immune and psychological system with significant change in shock resistance.
For sustained concussion, it is significant to opt for medical care that lasts for at least 3 months. This allows the brain to fully recover. Allowing a young athlete to play soon after a brain injury is one of the most life threatening decision. A second event of concussion is usually the most damaging and therefore healing through is imperative to retain a healthy brain function and psychological support.