The Talk; Concussions
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a blow or jolt of the head in which the brain hits the skull. This can be a result of a fall, sport injury, motor vehicle accident etc.
As an athlete who played competitive soccer until the age of 23, I have received my fair share of concussions, and I can tell you, the side effects are unwelcoming.
What are some common symptoms of concussions?
- Muscle imbalances
- Visual disturbances
- Sensitivities to light and noise
- Cognitive impairments
- Sleep disturbances
And many more.
Concussions should not be taken lightly. Historically, coaches, trainers and athletes were very dismissive of head trauma. There was a stigma around being “tough” or just having to “shake it off” because it was never an injury you could physically see.
The reality is concussions are serious brain injuries that need to be dealt with promptly as their long-term effects could be detrimental.
Here are a few steps to follow if you have, or think you might have a concussion:
- Immediate removal from sports
- Report your concussion to a health care practitioner for diagnosis
- Seek clear instructions on how to proceed with symptom management
- Do not rush back to sport- recovery takes time
Community sport clubs and University/College sport teams are now encouraging all athletes to get baseline concussion testing and have strict protocol for concussion diagnosis by performing SCAT5 tests immediately post head injury. Although concussions are common in the sporting world, they are equally prevalent in every other aspect of living. Concussion awareness and education should continue to be discussed and explored through multiple means.
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