You Don’t Have to be an NFL Player to Fall Victim to Football Concussions

With NFL season off to a roaring start, it seems like the perfect opportunity to remind you that football concussions are not restricted to NFL players! Football concussions, or any type of concussion for that matter, are very serious injuries. The initial symptoms can range from moderate to severe, but no matter the severity, a concussion (or suspected concussion) should be treated immediately by a physician.

What is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury typically caused by a blow to the head or another kind of injury that shakes the brain inside the skull. Sometimes cuts and bruises to the head can be good indications of a concussion, but more often than not there are no visible symptoms. Sometimes people lose consciousness – another important sign that a concussion has been sustained – but some do not.  The lack of visible clues is what makes exploring a possible and suspected concussion so important.

Symptoms of a concussion range, but may include a headache, nausea and vomiting, trouble remembering, blurred vision, dizziness or trouble with balance. Any or all of these symptoms may be a signal that an individual has suffered a concussion.

What happens if football concussions (or any concussions) are left untreated? Depending on the severity, the end result of a concussion differs, but if left untreated severe or repeated concussions can have devastating results. Long term issues with cognitive function can make everyday life difficult. Untreated concussions may also lead to the eventual need for surgery.

What is concussion management? Diagnosing concussions can be tricky, but with specific tools designed to make this diagnosis easier, your concussion management team can quickly recognize and identify when one has occurred, thereby establishing the best mode of treatment. Tools such as BESS, which is a standardized balance test, and IMPACT, a technology-based test to analyze cognitive triggers such as memory, reaction time and processing speed, are two of the most commonly used and effective devices.  Once a concussion has been diagnosed, your concussion management team can determine the best route for treatment, setting a timeline for recovery.

When football concussions strike, ignoring them is the worst thing that you can do. Instead, turn to a sports injury clinic that offers concussion management. A trained team of experts, proficient in dealing with concussion management and treatment is the best way to get back in the game safely.

For more information about treating football concussions or general concussion management contact Athletic Edge Sports Medicine at 416-800-0800.