Concussion News

Written By: Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman

The article below was posted in the Idaho Statesman and is just another call for us all to become more conscious of concussions and their prevalence. Despite all the information regarding concussions that has been in the media we somehow, as a community, continue to ignore the prevalence of concussions and just how serious they really are. The tools and knowledge to help protect our children are available but for some reason they are ignored. The research clearly shows that all athletes in contact sports should have baseline testing. Moreover, as far back as 2007  researchers advocated for obtaining baselines of various kinds for a more complete understanding of the athletes present level of function.

The points below are clear with respect to prevalence,  seriousness and that excuses are no longer acceptable. What the author below does not realize, however, is that there are ways to treat concussion beyond simply symptom management and rest. At Brain Centers NW guess work is a thing of the past. We establish a comprehensive baselines for your child so that you KNOW when they’ve been injured and in the event of an injury, you can have the peace of mind to know that not only have their symptoms resolved but more importantly they’ve regained their pre-existing level of brain function. At Brain Centers NW it isn’t just about monitoring symptoms, it is about protecting, treating and training your brain.

 

“Neurocognitive decrements may persist when athletes no longer report concussion-related symptoms. The exclusive use of symptom reports in making a return-to-play decision is not advised. A multifaceted approach to concussion assessment that includes evaluation of a myriad of functions is warranted.” J Athl Train. 2007 Oct-Dec;42(4):504-8.

 

 

Brian Murphy: Concussions in sports can’t be taken seriously enough

Never have the risks of head injury associated with playing competitive sports — at any level — been so clear and transparent.

Never has the need for more stringent concussion care guidelines and better education for coaches, parents and athletes been more necessary.

The Idaho High School Activities Association, the body responsible for governing interscholastic sports in the state, released the results of its first concussion survey earlier this month.

Its findings were startling.

Based on the reporting of just 68 (of about 152) schools, the IHSAA found that 445 student-athletes missed practice time or games because of a potential or confirmed concussion this fall.

This fall. In just six sports — football, girls soccer, boys soccer, volleyball, girls cross country and boys cross country.

There were more than 4› concussions per football team. More than one concussion per girls soccer team.

If you extrapolate the numbers to cover the entire state — and I want to know why every school did not participate in this important survey — then more than 1,000 student-athletes in the state suffered a concussion this fall alone.

Those numbers should set off alarm bells, particularly as we learn about the dangerous impacts of concussions and repeated concussions on young, developing brains.

This is not a column calling for the end of sports. Not even the end of football, though I have called for eliminating kickoffs to make the game safer, and I have wondered how long parents will allow their sons to play the sport as they discover the damage it can inflict upon their children’s brains. I have also questioned if football will follow the path of boxing.

This is a column calling for coaches to get more training on concussion symptoms, calling for parents to not question toughness when a child complains about a concussion, for athletes to balance the short-term and the long-term.

Getting your bell rung or being dinged is not something to shake off. It is an injury to your brain.

A knee can be repaired. A brain must heal.

And it’s not just a problem at the high school level.

Boise State guard Jeff Elorriaga is sidelined indefinitely after suffering two concussions in a week. He missed one game with the first concussion, then returned to the lineup and suffered another blow to the head when he hit the floor. Elorriaga had passed all of the tests, coach Leon Rice said. But now it’s hard not to wonder whether the Broncos’ glue guy — and the nation’s No. 5 3-point shooter — returned to action too quickly.

It was a concussion that sidelined San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith in November. Colin Kaepernick took over Smith’s position and has led San Francisco to the Super Bowl. Smith took the proper precautions and now is a backup.

Do you think other professional players aren’t aware of his fate?

Or are they aware of the fates of hundreds, maybe thousands, of former NFL players, the ones who are now dealing with the implications of sustained head trauma? Many of them are suing the league, including the family of former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide at 43 last year and was recently found to have brain disease consistent with repeated brain trauma.

Hopefully the important research being conducted on the subject will lead to breakthroughs in treating concussions and early detection of brain disease. Hopefully it will lead to improved equipment, necessary rule changes and better training.

The IHSAA survey is a great step in the right direction, an acknowledgement that concussions are a serious problem in high school athletics and should be treated as such.

Concussion ignorance should no longer be an excuse for coaches, parents or athletes.

 

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