Be Smart About Concussions

Many children and adults may have experienced a concussion. Concussions happen most often during athletics, especially in high contact sports. It is worth noting that concussions may also occur in an accident, a fall, or a blow to the head. High contact sports, such as football, lacrosse, and hockey, require protective gear to protect the head and skull from contact. Even in many martial arts sparring matches, head protection should be worn.

Unfortunately, some who experience severe concussions may find it is the end of their competitive athletics journey. Still, most recover and can function normally even if it doesn’t mean competing at the same level in their sport. Some severe hits can have dramatic and permanent damage that changes the victim\’s life forever. Whether an adult or child engages in a contact sport, it is always best to protect the head. This post informs and educates people about concussions because they are not a joke. Too many young people have had long-term adverse effects from concussions, and as imagined, recurring concussions are much worse.

The severity of concussions was often underplayed in the football world. As facts and cases became more public, even Hollywood took notice, and in 2015 made a “based on true story” film about it, starring Will Smith.

Concussions: What Are They?

When the head receives a hit, it moves back and forth forcefully. When this occurs, the chemicals in the brain change and cause brain cell damage. If someone blacks out from a blow to the head, they have lost consciousness and have suffered a concussion. However, a person can have suffered a concussion without losing consciousness.

In today\’s sports, athletic personnel will come on the field and do a sideline concussion check after any blow to the head. In a few minutes, basic tests are done that should reveal if a concussion has taken place. An indicator of how common concussions may occur is the mandatory concussion treatment and acknowledgment form in athletic packets required for students to participate. Too many students walked away with head injuries that later caused related health issues into adulthood.

Concussions: What Are the Signs to Watch For?

The most common signs to look for are head pain, blurred vision, dizziness, imbalance, speaking without making sense, or slurring and throwing up. In some instances, those who have suffered a concussion may have a seizure or pass out. Typically, symptoms are immediate, but not always. Signs may show up several hours after the injury or even days. If time has passed and symptoms of inability to focus, difficulty remembering things, headaches, insomnia, or emotional reactions that seem out of character should all be indicators to see a doctor.

Concussions: What Are the Best Treatments?

A medical professional should check out concussions. Doctors will determine the severity based on when the injury occurred, the progress or dissipation of symptoms since, and perform memory and concentration tests. A routine physical exam will often be conducted to make sure coordination, balance, and reflexes are normal.

Healing and treatment of concussions are different for each person. It is a gradual process to get back to “normal” daily activities. Typical things recommended when a concussion happens are to relax, with no screen time, allowing for lots of rest and quiet activities.

Knowledge, Not Fear

It is not worth skipping the doctor\’s visit when dealing with brain, skull, and head injuries. You can read website after website to self-diagnose a concussion, but they should be taken seriously. It is never worth the risk of trying to treat yourself and possibly cause more damage. Knowing the risks also puts you in charge of what activities to engage in and what safety measures should be in place to make it safe. It may be worth purchasing a personal helmet that is fitted specifically when dealing with older students and adults. Even in martial arts sparring training, helmets are provided to ensure added protection for the head. Reputable and professional martial arts studios, like SwiftKick, have supplies for students who participate in sparring, even though this activity is supervised and monitored by highly trained instructors.

Finding enjoyable physical exercise is essential, and many thrive and enjoy high contact sports. As a nation, we have developed a merchandise-hungry fan base for \”rough sports.\” But do not fear! There are safe ways to engage in these sports, and they shouldn\’t be avoided solely due to the risk of a concussion. It is wise to know your stuff, consider the severity of injuries during competitive level play, and do your part to protect the head.


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