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Moving Toward Better Health

The official blog of Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic


Concussion Common in Sports

Posted by Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Thomas Konicki earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati and then went on to the Los Ange...
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in Sports Injuries

Concussion is unfortunately a common injury in many sports. Football, ice hockey and surprisingly, soccer all have about the same injury rate. Almost 2 million concussions occur every year due to sports.

Typical complaints include headaches, nausea, dizziness, balance problems, double or fuzzy vision, sensitivity to light or noise, sluggishness, feeling foggy, change in sleep patterns and concentration or memory problems.

Someone who has a concussion appears dazed, stunned, confused, forgetful, unsure, clumsy, answers questions slowly, has behavior or personality changes.

Concussions are graded 1, 2 and 3. Grade 1 is when symptoms last less than 15 minutes and do not recur with exertion. Grade 2 is when symptoms last beyond 15 minutes. Grade 3 is any loss of consciousness or amnesia.

Proper care of a Grade 1 concussion is to allow the athlete to return to play when they have no complaints for at least 1 day after symptoms go away.

Grade 2 concussion requires evaluation and clearance by a healthcare provider knowledgeable about concussions. An excellent source is the pediatric neurosurgery department at Dayton Children's Hospital.

Grade 3 concussion requires immediate medical evaluation and the athlete should go to the emergency room.
Also of serious concern is what is known as "second impact syndrome". This occurs when a second concussion happens less than 2 weeks from the first. The brain can swell rapidly, causing death.

Often there is no physical damage to the brain. Head CT scans are usually normal. What changes though, is mental ability such as memory and concentration.

There is a testing system called ImPACT, which stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. Go to www.impacttest.com for more information and to locate a doctor using this system.

This testing measures such things as memory, reaction times and mental function. Some athletes take this test prior to the season of play as a baseline measure.

Testing can be done a few days after a concussion to see if there are any deficiencies. If so, the athlete may not be ready to return to play.

Rest is an important component of recovery. Without a severe headache or vomiting, it is safe to sleep. You don't have to wake your child up every hour to check on them.

If there is severe headache and vomiting, they should be hospitalized. 9% of concussions require this care.

Once all symptoms have gone away, and cleared by your chiropractor/doctor, the athlete can start a return to play program.

First, do a light workout. If no problems, progress to sport-specific training and drills. Again, if no problems you can progress to full practice and lastly playing in a game.

If symptoms return or worsen during this sequence, stop and rest for 1 week, then slowly begin again. If your headache lasts more than 1 week, you can expect a longer recovery. Young brains are more sensitive to these types of injuries than adults. It is far too easy to ignore what appears to be minor complaints and simply continue playing. This is the time for a young brain to heal and avoid later problems, such as headaches and memory loss.

Copyright © 2008 - Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic. All rights reserved.

Dr. Tom Konicki is a board certified chiropractic orthopedist and has practiced for many years in South Dayton. You can reach him at www.kschiro.com or mail your questions to Ask the Chiropractor, 2165 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459.

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