School is back in session and that means kids and young adults across America are lacing up their cleats and heading toward the playing field. Participating in a sport is a great way to teach teens and young adults leadership, confidence and teamwork, but it’s important to keep the potential risks in mind.
There are approximately 300,000 sports-related concussions among high school athletes each year in the United States. Surprisingly, only a small fraction—about 25 percent—gets medical care. With proper rehabilitation, most mild to moderate concussions can be completely healed.
Common signs and symptoms of concussions
Here are a few signs and symptoms of a concussion, so you can identify them and seek medical care as soon as possible:
- Inability to concentrate
- Persistent pressure in the head
- Repeating questions
- Slurred speech
- Trouble falling asleep
Your brain is a muscle and, like all muscles, it will take time to heal from an injury. It’s important to rest and limit activity for about 72 hours following a mild to moderate concussion. This will give your brain a rest, lessen symptoms and help it heal. After the initial three days, it’s very important to resume light activities to avoid feeling worse and delaying recovery.
Anyone who has suffered a concussion should not return to moderate or strenuous activities or sports without doctor approval. Improper healing from an initial concussion may cause a condition known as second impact syndrome. This condition increases your chances of severe brain swelling and may be fatal, which is why it’s always best to get proper medical treatment for any head injury or trauma.
If you or someone you know has suffered a severe concussion, it’s important to understand that the spine may also be compromised. Watch for things like difficulty breathing, nerve pain, headaches and varying degrees of paralysis, which can indicate a spinal injury. Concussion management at Pomona Valley Health Centers is second to none when it comes to caring for your sports-related injury. For more information about our sports medicine services, please call 909-536-1493.