What to Do When There is a Concussion in Sports

A concussion is a trauma injury that's very common in many sports. It's essential to start its treatment as soon as possible.
What to Do When There is a Concussion in Sports

Last update: 01 May, 2019

Concussions are fairly common in soccer and sports such as wrestling. And so, when we suspect that someone has sustained a concussion in sports, alarm bells ring and we must act quickly. Failure to act has devastating consequences for the athlete.

The main problem here is that the symptoms in these cases are quite general. Thus, if there’s suspicion of a concussion in sports, there should be a period of medical exams and health checkups. In some disciplines, this can even pose certain legal repercussions.

What is a brain concussion?

A concussion is a health situation that implies the alteration of brain function due to a head injury. Temporary loss of consciousness is one of the symptoms, although it doesn’t always happen. Therefore, medical checkups are essential.

This condition tends to occur following a head injury. However, hard hits on the face, neck or forehead can also cause this condition. A concussion in sports (or through any other scenario) can also happen even if the injury was in another part of the body that generates momentum towards the head.

Likewise, these contingencies are known as mild brain concussions. In sports, this type of episode can happen frequently. For example, in the United States, there are around 300,000 concussions a year. The problem is that athletes don’t report them in fear of losing their sporting opportunities.

Common symptoms of concussion in sports

All brain concussions tend to come with a long list of symptoms. The first thing to assess is the body’s first reaction to the injury. Then, there could be a loss of consciousness and fainting, and temporary vision anomalies as well.

Learn the symptoms of a concussion in sports

Temporary amnesia is another common symptom in patients who suffer a concussion in sports. Additionally, they may also experience mental alterations. First responders should pay close attention to their symptoms and the reaction the body has.

Almost all of these symptoms tend to disappear between 48 and 72 hours after the event. Also, in the worst cases, these symptoms can last as long as two weeks. However, the real issue here is the possible long-term effects they may have on the athlete.

The first thing to do

In the case of a possible concussion during the game, the player must stop all physical activity. In fact, sometimes the symptoms aren’t clear and the athlete continues playing and that’s not good. Thus, if there’s any doubt, it’s better to take the player out to rest.

Meanwhile, the player should receive immediate medical attention. A paramedic could identify the possible gravity of the concussion. Later, more thorough medical exams will have to follow.

In most sports, concussions don’t necessarily generate an impediment. Of course, depending on the physical activity required and the athlete’s age.

A neurologist is a specialist who will perform the corresponding diagnosis. To identify how the injury affected the brain, doctors may perform computerized tomographies and MRIs.

Recovery time for concussion in sports

When this event happens, recovery time is highly important. In this time, the athlete must perform the least amount of physical activity possible.

Physical effort must be reduced considerably. Generally, the patient will have a doctors note to excuse them from these activities.

The minimum recovery time for these types of injuries is between two and four weeks. Additionally, the real danger occurs when the athlete receives another traumatic hit before completely recovering. Thus, an athlete is two to four times more likely to get another concussion following the first one.

An athlete is two to four times more likely to get a concussion after the first one.

Although a concussion doesn’t mean that the player must quit the sport altogether, it’s common to have to modify their sport dynamics. With time, brain damage can appear after suffering many other small concussions. Therefore, multiple concussions can cause long-term problems.

This damage is called chronic encephalopathy. People who suffer from this condition can have similar symptoms to dementia patients. For example, memory loss and reality perception problems.

Therefore, we must be very careful when receiving hits to the head. Brain concussions are not just another injury, it needs to be treated quickly and effectively to avoid further complications.

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The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.