Signs, Dangers And Treatments For Concussions

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Medicine in Motion, please share your thoughts below…..

newsMost injuries sustained on the sports field have obvious tell-tale signs such as pain, bleeding, swelling or discoloration. The nature of a concussion, however, can make it extremely challenging to recognize at first glance – the physical evidence is hidden beneath the injured person’s skull, after all. Concussions are commonplace among high school athletes, affecting about 63,000 students every year.

Although many injured athletes are eager to get back into the game, a person suspected of having a concussion should immediately be removed or remove themselves from a game or any activity or sport. An increase in heart rate can worsen symptoms, but perhaps more importantly, a quick return to activity significantly increases the injured person’s risk of an even more serious brain injury. A doctor should always be consulted before an athlete returns to a sport or activity.

“Concussions are serious business, but we don’t always know how severe the damage is immediately after the injury occurs,” said Dr. Martha Pyron, Austin sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion. “If you or your child has taken a blow to the head, you might be wondering if a concussion has developed. I recommend referring to our symptoms checklist and heading to a doctor if you have even the slightest suspicion that it is a concussion. The healing process may take time, but a quick response will be your athlete’s best bet for a solid recovery.”

Concussion facts and tips:

1. What is a concussion? It is the mildest form of brain injury, but can still lead to death and/or permanent brain damage if not treated properly.

2. How does a concussion occur? Usually, it is from a blow to the head, but a person can get a concussion by just abruptly stopping, even if he or she does not hit their head.

3. What are the consequences of a concussion? Usually, if treated properly, concussions resolve without any long term consequences. But if not treated properly, and sports are attempted while still recovering from a concussion, the concussion can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

4. What are symptoms of a concussion? Headache is the most common symptom of concussion, but it is not always present. Nausea, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, confusion, difficulty with concentration, behavioral changes, slurred speech, dizziness, blurry vision, sleep disturbance, and emotional changes can all occur.

5. How is a concussion treated? The brain must rest. At first this may mean rest from ALL activity including talking on the phone, watching TV, or even reading. Eventually, the concussion resolves and the athlete returns to all activity without difficulty.

6. How does a person know when their concussion has resolved? It is difficult to tell sometimes. But generally, three things need to be in place: 1. All symptoms have resolved; 2. The physician’s physical exam of the concussed person is normal; and 3. The person is able to think clearly and use their brain at the same level as prior to the injury.

7. How does a person know if they are able to use their brain the same as before? There are computerized tests which can measure concentration, memory and reaction times. If this test is taken before the head injury as a baseline, it can be used as a measure of when the test scores return to normal after the injury.

8. Where should a person go if they think they have a concussion? If a person is injured and their symptoms are worsening despite rest, they should go to the ER. If they have symptoms which occur that they think are related to a concussion, they should seek medical care from a physician who has experience with concussions and has the ability to test concentration and memory skills. Otherwise, it may be difficult to tell when the concussion has been resolved. Medicine in Motion has the capability to do a full evaluation.

– Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The staff at MIM believes active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office’s goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at

Guest Post – Warren Potash, Concussions and Female Athletes

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Today’s Guest Author Warren Potash Discusses Concussions And Female Athletes

With the beginning of fall sports starting now – female athletes and concussions are an important topic as more than 35 states have passed or are providing legislation for baseline concussion tests before a female (and male) athlete can play sports.

Baseline tests and return to play criteria for all athletes is gaining steam in State legislatures throughout the country. Arizona has passed a law for all athletes to have a baseline concussion test before their first practice.

This female population is affected due to laxity (looseness) that is present for almost all female athletes.

STRONG Necks and Concussions

Research – football players – shows that a strong neck may reduce the risk of concussion (; May/June 2012).

FACT: Females are more lax (looser) than males.

concussionTherefore, it is no wonder that the latest research shows that the severity of a concussion is worse for females than males. Female student-athletes need to perform the necessary exercises (isometric neck strengthening and range of motion exercises) to mitigate the effects of a possible concussion. Coaches need to incorporate neck strengthening as part of the female athlete’s preparation to play sports.

Anne McIlroy [Globe and Mail; 03-18-11] wrote that females [are] more susceptible to concussion. A noted researcher says:

“The current clinical assessment protocols and return to play guidelines, which are almost entirely based on research with male athletes, are not only inappropriate for women but likely place them at a greater risk of suffering multiple concussions and experiencing long-term consequences of their injuries [per Dave Ellemberg, Ph.D.]… But female university athletes in the United States who play soccer, basketball, lacrosse and hockey have a higher risk of getting concussed than their male counterparts, says Tracey Covassin [Ph.D., ATC], a Canadian researcher at Michigan State University who began to study concussions in female athletes a decade ago. She says it is still not clear how much greater that risk is, but Ellemberg says evidence suggests that women are three [3] times more likely than men to suffer a sports-related concussion.”

“Researchers in Canada and the United States say they don’t know why women are more vulnerable to sports-related concussions, but factors may include weaker necks, subtle differences in brain chemistry, and differences in the way females are coached or train.

There are risks associated with all sports and all kinds of physical activity, Covassin says, and no one wants girls or women to stop playing hockey, soccer or other sports. She suspects that female athletes are getting more concussions because they are stronger, faster and more aggressive than in the past.

Dr. Covassin and her colleagues released a 2010 study; Tracking neurocognitive performance following concussion in high school athletes. The conclusion states that:

“Concussed athletes self-reported significantly more symptoms at 2 days post concussion and exhibited a resolution of symptoms by 7 days post injury. High school athletes could take up to 21 days to return to baseline levels for reaction time. These data support current recommendations for the conservative management of concussion in the high school athlete.”

Concussion Assessment & Management Program [CAMP]

Phil Hossler, MS, ATC is a leading trainer who has developed the Concussion Tool Kit with several associates. He tells parents of concussed athletes about three key areas:

1. Complete rest is needed

2. Second-impact syndrome, recurrent concussions

3. Involve teachers as part of the team helping your female athlete.

He lists “brain breaks” and “study buddies” as part of the process for students, teachers, and parents to consider for the concussed athlete.

– Warren J. Potash, Specialist in Exercise Therapy and Sports Nutrition, Author, They’re Not Boys – Safely Training the Adolescent Female Athlete

Webmaster note: Warren’s web site has an entire page devoted to female athletes and concussions.