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How To Identify a Concussion

Sep 29, 2010
By Dr. Josh Bross

A concussion can be a life or death situation. It is important to know what to look for, how to identify them, and what to do to prevent another more devastating and potentially life threatening from occurring.

Nowadays, you hear about concussions almost everyday if you are a football fan. Whether watching on TV, listening to the radio, or reading articles about your favorite team, it’s almost inevitable that somebody in the game will be removed because he sustained a concussion. The NFL, College Football, and even high school football have paid particular attention the last few years in researching concussions and setting more stringent rules when a concussion occurs. This is partly due to the long-term effects of many of the ex-football players who continue to live with symptoms on a daily basis. Years after finishing their careers, these guys still have symptoms of the concussions they had during their playing career.

I had a football player come to my Columbia chiropractic office after tackling another player. He continued to have neck pain one week following the injury. After going to the history of the accident, it seemed highly likely he had indeed sustained a concussion. I advised him to not go back to football until he had a CT scan to rule out any fractures or hemorrhaging.

I do want to be clear that it’s NOT ONLY FOOTBALL PLAYERS THAT GET CONCUSSIONS. It can happen in any sport and can happen to men or women. As a matter of fact, WOMEN ARE 68% MORE PRONE TO GETTING CONCUSSION THEN MEN. This is due to a variety of factors, including a smaller head, weaker neck muscles, and different training techniques.

So how you identify if someone you know has sustained a concussion? There are several symptoms that people who sustain a concussion can display. These include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, loss of consciousness, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, inability to concentrate, and loss of memory. There are 3 grades of concussions, with grade 3 being the most severe. Depending on which guidelines you follow, Grade 3 always involves a loss of consciousness. If you or someone you know loses consciousness during an athletic event, they should be removed from the contest immediately and not allowed to return for at least a week and until they have been evaluated by a neurologist.

It’s always a good idea to play it safe. Keep yourself of someone you know out of the contest if there is any question of whether you are ready to go back in.

If you have any more questions, go to my Columbia chiropractic office website elitechirosport.com

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