With the summer season and the sporting activities gearing up, so does the occurrence rate of injurious. One of the important and common injuries in the sporting world is concussion.
Concussion is a brain injury and must be taken seriously to ensure and safeguard the short and long term health of all players.
The majority (80-90%) of concussions resolve in a short (7-10 days) period. The recovery time is longer in children and adolescents. One needs to remember that their brains are still developing and therefore a more conservative approach needs to be taken with them. While symptoms may resolve, the brain takes a bit longer to recover fully so this needs to be factored into the recovery protocols.
During this recovery period, the brain is more vulnerable to further injury, and if a player returns too early, before they have fully recovered, this may result in:
- Prolonged concussion symptoms
- Increased risk of developing Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) with symptoms lasting over 3 months
- Possible increased risk of long term health consequences e.g. mild cognitive impairment or degenerative brain disorders in later life.
Concussion Recognition Tool (CRT) is the most common standard used when dealing with such events. Every parent and sports trainer should be aware of this to ensure the welfare of all players.
As a guide the following should be a minimum procedure when dealing with a player who has sustained a possible concussive event.
- Recognise the injury by using the Pocket CRT
- Any player with suspected concussion should be IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM PLAY, and should not be returned to activity (training or playing) until they are assessed medically.
- Report the incident to their club officials (if applicable)
Monitor the player with a suspected concussion which includes:
- NOT consume alcohol and keep well hydrated.
- NOT drive a motor vehicle.
- NOT be left alone, and be woken every 2-3 hours during the night to ensure they are well.
- Rest from all activity until symptoms recover.
- Consult with a medical professional on a graduated return to training and playing.
- Medical clearance required to return to play.
There are plenty out there to read about concussions. Please feel free to download the Pocket CRT attached to this email. Use the Christmas season to educate yourself and your family. Please feel free to speak to one of our Chiropractors or physiotherapists to discuss any questions you may have.