American Academy of Neurology has just release the
Updated Sports Concussions Guidelines for physicians, coaches, parents, and athletes.
The crushing tackle by the cornerback and the quarterback sack on the football
field. The driving force of a scrum on the rugby field. Lashing checks
and body slams on the lacrosse field. A diving header into the net on
the soccer field. Aerial stunts and acrobatic maneuvers on the cheerleading mat.
While contact sports are thrilling and athletic, they also significantly
increase the chance for concussion.
A concussion is more than just a bump on the head. It is a mild traumatic
brain injury that occurs when a blow or jolt to the head disrupts the
normal functioning of the brain. Some athletes lose consciousness after
a concussion, but others are just dazed or confused. A concussion is usually
caused by a blow to the head, but can also occur due to whiplash.
Concussions can occur in any sport.
With significant media attention regarding concussions in professional
sports and now even more attention on young children and the long-term
effects from concussions, many school systems are requiring strict return-to-play
guidelines for student athletes with concussion. Mary Washington Healthcare
has partnered with the University of Mary Washington to develop the first
in the state return-to-play guidelines for the collegiate athlete.
Click here to learn about the program, Eagle Care.
Signs of Concussion
Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience any of
- Change in behavior
- Worsening headache
- Double vision
- Excessive drowsiness
There are many other signs and symptoms of concussion. If you are unsure
of your signs and symptoms or if you have questions regarding concussion,
call our HealthLink Nurse Line at 540.741.1000, 6:00 am to midnight, seven
days a week.
What do I do if I have a concussion?
If you experience any of the signs and symptoms of a concussion, rapid
evaluation is key to successful management, recovery, and minimizing effects
of the concussion on future injury.
Go to an emergency room or urgent care facility immediately if you have
signs or symptoms of a concussion.
The best defense against concussion is, as the saying goes, a good offense.
Here are some tips to prevent concussion on the field of play - whether
at practice, during a game, or even just a pick-up game.
- Practice good sportsmanship.
- Wear protective equipment for your sport; it should fit properly, be well
maintained, and worn consistently and correctly.
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion; get help immediately.
Myths/Facts About Sports Concussions
Concussion is a minor brain injury with no long-term effects.
FACT: Concussion can cause disability affecting school, work, and social life.
If you weren't knocked out, then you didn't have a concussion.
FACT: A concussion doesn't always knock you out. Any blow to the head is
potential cause for alarm.
Having multiple concussions is common in sports and no cause for concern.
FACT: A second concussion may leave permanent brain damage. Having one concussion
increases your chances of having another.
Symptoms of a sports concussion will always clear up, usually in a few days.
FACT: Symptoms of a concussion can last hours, days, weeks, months, or indefinitely.
If there is no visible injury, everything's okay.
FACT: Signs and symptoms of concussion vary and are often not assessed through
a visible injury. Confusion, disorientation, headaches, irritability,
nausea, vomiting, and delayed verbal or motor responses are just some
of the signs and symptoms of concussion.
You should play through the pain - get back in the game!
FACT: Returning to contact or collision sports before you have completely recovered
from a concussion may lead to more serious injury and can increase your
chances of long-term problems.
Quick Links: Concussion