concussion in sport

What we should know about concussion

Georgie Mai Clinic Director

Georgie Mai
Clinic Director & Lead Sports Therapist

If you’ve suffered a concussion playing contact sport in or around Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, or if you’re responsible for somebody who does, then read on…

Concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting in a disturbance of brain function . It happens most frequently in contact sports such as rugby, boxing, and ice-hockey, but can happen also in everyday life where we might receive a knock to the head.

If concussion is identified and managed quickly and correctly, it dramatically reduces the risk of more serious consequences developing. 

There are many symptoms of concussion – the most common being headache, dizziness, memory disturbance or balance problems.

The most important thing to stress is that loss of consciousness, i.e. being ‘knocked out’, is not a requirement for diagnosing concussion.  In fact, loss of consciousness occurs in less than 10% of concussions so we must never assume that somebody does not have a concussion if they did not black out.

Who is at risk?

Concussions can and do happen at any age.  However, children and adolescent athletes are:

Athletes of any age who participate in contact sports and experience one or more concussions, may be at risk of developing long-term alterations in brain function and subsequent premature degeneration or aging of the nerves in the brain.

Between 40–50% of athletes who experience a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), be it in rugby, boxing or a clash of heads in football for example are likely to experience neurological issues and potentially longer-term complications.

So the key take-home message is that fellow players, coaches, match officials, team managers, administrators and parents who observe a player displaying any of the signs of concussion, or witness a knock to the head where symptoms aren’t immediately obvious, MUST do their best to ensure that the player is removed from the field of play in a safe manner and is transferred into the hands of someone who is qualified to assess and manage the situation.

Understanding and management of concussion

We have a range of free downloadable concussion resources to help you understand the deeper statistics and what to do if you spot a concussion.  They are written by senior physiotherapists and consultants, and feature evidence-based information and best practice protocols.  But they are a light read with digestible bite-sized information for you and anyone in need of them.

The following Concussion Resources are available to you:

Of course, if you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to get in contact with us.  We’re here to help!

Georgie Mai.

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