With all the excitement sports in our country and even around the world bring, some horrific injuries occur due to the competiveness of each participant. The human body can only take so much, and seems like a big target when competition is involved between two or more teams. An injury that has evolved the most out of all the injuries that can occur to someone is the concussion. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, concussions in athletes is becoming the most common injury found compared to some other sports related injury. In the past, if you got hit in the head really hard you went out till your headache went away then you went back in the game. Nobody back then realized how much damage that hard hit to the head really did to you, or how long you should stay out for and recover. Due to advances in technology we now realize our philosophy “rub some dirt on it” or “shake it off” especially when it comes to head injuries is something you should never do. Due to improvements in technology and our scientist we are starting to realize and go deeper into how severe a concussion is or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
By definition, a concussion occurs when there is a rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head.
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The brain moves or rotates inside the skull and different parts of it move against each other. Symptoms include headaches, confusion, amnesia and sensitivity to light or noise and can last days, weeks or months. According to the article “The Science of Hard Knocks” when this mild to severe blow to the head occurs what happens is the brain jiggles inside of the skull reorganizing blood flow. This causes no physical symptoms you can see so doctors can only depend on the information the athlete tells them. This is a huge problem because athletes being as competitive as they are, they may get cleared to play again and still have a concussion. According to the article “The Science of Hard Knocks”, “A ton of concussions are being missed. And a
ton of people are being allowed to go back not having fully recovered,” says Robert Cantu, a concussion expert and chairman of the department of surgery at Emerson Hospital. Due to this some rules in and restrictions have been put in place by the NCAA on concussions that every head coach and athletic trainer must follow, but the main rule is if an athlete even shows the slightest sign of having a concussion they must sit out the for the entire event and must sit out at least a week before returning.
Not only has this rule decreased the number of concussions but it has given the opportunity for athletes to recover fully from a concussion. There is really only one way to treat a concussion, the article “The Science of hard knocks” states that the only accepted treatment right now for a concussion is to rest the brain. This means no contact sports, no exercise, and no strenuous thinking, all in which are very difficult for your typical college athlete not to do. A big thing that many scientist and neurologist are studying now is the differences concussions have on men vs. women. The number of women participating in sports grew from 1.9 million to 3.2 million between 1990 and 2010. With an increase of participation in sports comes an increase in injuries, including concussion, and a need to understand its effects. Evidence is mounting that women, who are more likely than men to suffer a sports-related concussion, also have more severe symptoms in the days immediately following the injury.
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Though men go through a series of big hits, especially in the National Hockey League who is under intense pressure to come up with rule changes to reduce the number of concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, which have been linked to dementia later in life, studies show that men are less prone to get a concussion because of how long men have been playing sports and hitting our head. According to Dave Elemberrg within the past 100 years, our bodies and brains have adapted to the big hits. But, because women are so new to sports, women are three times more likely than men to suffer a sports-related concussion, says Tracey Covassin, a Canadian researcher at Michigan State University. The reason why women seem to get more concussion than men is not because they are less athletic Covassin says, but because she suspects that female athletes are getting more concussions because they are stronger, faster and more aggressive than in the past. “Women are also more likely to be honest about their symptoms, she says, since unlike their male counterparts, they don’t risk losing lucrative professional contracts if they are injured.”
Concussions have been overlooked by many people for a very long time. Because of this, some athletes have paid the price and now have to live with the consequences of not letting a traumatic brain injury heal properly. Due to our improvements in technology, rules and regulations set by the NCAA on this issue, and hard work done by scientist and neurologist we now have a better grasp on how serious a concussion or, a traumatic brain injury can be. It is safe to say that there is need for a more widespread understanding of the potentially dangerous impart of concussions in sports