by Mark Powell MS ATC CSCS
Athletes, even younger ones, have a certain amount of machismo in them. They want to be tough, be able to take a hit, and play hurt. All in an effort to show how tough they are and that they’ll do anything for the team.
But is it really all worth it? That’s the focus of a blog posted on “The Invisible Injury” website. The article is titled “Don’t be a Hero: Second Impact Syndrome and the Risks Athletes Take by Playing Through Their Brain Pain.”
Here are some of the highlights discussed in the story;
Do NOT play through your concussion symptoms. Although athletes in the past have done this routinely, new evidence has shown that this is the last thing an athlete should do. The impact of a second concussion can be devastating and has been termed “Second Impact Syndrome.”
The fear many times is the driver behind players wanting to play injured. Fear of how it would look to teammates and coaches. Fear of how it might affect the team or fear of leaving the team shorthanded.
But a brain injury is much different than a twisted ankle. Treatment for a hand, elbow, arm or leg injury is well known, and the risks of continuing to play with those type injuries are also known. However, a brain injury is not something that can be seen and therefore unless the symptoms are severe, they can be hidden or missed.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions occur annually from sports-related activities. Even more concerning is these numbers are vastly underestimated because athletes often continue competing in their sport while they have a concussion. In fact, the CDC recently released a report stating the 69% of student athletes with possible concussions don’t report their symptoms.
The fact is that playing with a concussion increases the athlete’s risk for a second concussion, known as Second Impact Syndrome, which can be much more severe. Second Impact Syndrome occurs when an individual who has a concussion sustains a second head injury before symptoms related to the first have resolved.
Players who feel they may have suffered a concussion, no matter how minor, need to report the injury to their coach or trainer, just as they would any other physical harm. Failure to do so puts athletes six times more at risk for another more severe concussion.
And the risks to the athletes are not worth it. Brain trauma can last long after the athlete has stopped playing and trying to play through injuries can have long-term devastating effects.
You can read the entire article at the link below;