Synopsis by Dr. Daniel Rancier MD;
According to a paper from the Journal of Athletic Training,
The rate of traumatic brain injury from sports among young people ages 15 to 24 is second only to motor vehicle accidents. Data taken from NATA (National Athletic Trainers Association) reveal that most concussions resulted from football (40.5%), followed by girls’ soccer (21.5%), boys’ soccer (15.4%), and girls’ basketball (9.5%).
The paper studied boys’ football, basketball, soccer, wrestling, and baseball as well as, girls’ soccer, basketball, volleyball, and softball during the 2005-2006 school year. Of the nine sports that were tracked by the participating High Schools, a total of 396 concussions occurred. These concussions accounted for 8.9% of all sports related injuries. The investigators found that only 34.5% of concussions occurred during practice and 65.4% took place during competition. There was no clear reason given why there were more concussions during competition.
The most common symptoms of concussion were a headache 40.1%, dizziness 15.3%, and confusion 8.6%.
Of the concussed athletes in this study, 16.8 % had a previously diagnosed sports-related concussion. The symptoms in over 50% of athletes diagnosed with a concussion (except for girls’ basketball and softball) resolved in 3 days or less. Likewise, over 50% of athletes returned to play in 9 days or less regardless of sport.
Girls More Vulnerable Than Boys
In every type of game in which both boys and girls participated in, the study found that girls had a higher rate of concussion than boys. Also, the proportion of all injuries attributable to a concussion was higher among girls than boys.
It is clear that sports-related concussions are common and represent a significant concern for High School Athletics. It is imperative that more studies are done to find a way to cut down on the number of concussions and prevent the significant harm they can cause to our High School Athletes.