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SportsMed News

Concussions and How to Avoid Them

September 22, 2017

Concussions have been a common occurrence in many activities these days, especially those with contact involved in them. Many people simply equate frequency of occurrence with a level of danger, dismissing the true severity of concussions and how they affect an individual. Concussions on its own are in fact brain injuries, and there is absolutely no cure for it. During an impact to the head, the brain moves inside the skull, causing damage that changes how the brain cells function. As a result, physical, cognitive and emotional problems may occur from the concussion.

While you may seemingly recover from a concussion, the underlying effects that it has on your brain functions may remain unknown. Besides general concussion, a less serious impact to the head is classified as sub-concussive hits and can be equally damaging in the long run. Seeing that prevention is the best way when it comes to concussions, we will be going through some of the ways on how to avoid concussions in this article.

Appropriate Equipment
Avoiding concussions means taking safety as an absolute priority. By that account, it is imperative to wear appropriate equipment at all times, including helmets, mouth guards and even headbands. Although this equipment does not guarantee avoidance in a concussion, they at least help to reduce the damage incurred.

Promoting a Safe Sporting Culture
One of the most common occurrences of concussions is during sports. Having fun and being competitive can be two complementary events that happen in sports, and it should remain that way. It is imperative that players respect the culture in the particular sport and rules be enforced, especially when it comes to safety. Besides that, players and referees should always be wary of the environment before the game starts in order to prevent any accidents from happening. Schools such as Harvard have also started implementing a limit to the number of contact practices in a week, in order to limit sub-concussive hits.

Having a Concussion Plan
Most players that experience some form of concussion do not report their injury simply because they are afraid of the hassle that arises from the injury. It may also jeopardize their futures and make them look weak in front of their peers. As such, it is imperative to have a plan in place so as to manage players suffering from a concussion easily. It is imperative to remove the player from the game immediately once a concussion has occurred, lest the individual injures himself out of dizziness and confusion. In addition to this, a stricter approach has to be taken when allowing players to return from head injuries. A good gauge would be for players to return 7 days after an injury.

Education on Concussions
Having a plan alone may not be sufficient to avoid long-term damage from concussions. The general public and sports enthusiasts have to be educated about the effects of the injury and from there get rid of the culture and fear of walking away from a game due to an injury. Besides that, sportsmen who are educated about the effects of concussions will then start taking physical safety more seriously, and play by the rules during a game.