THE CONCUSSION BLOG

The Dangers of Playing Sports With a Concussion

The safety and well-being of people taking part in different physical activities depend heavily on preventing concussions. The need for preventative measures has gained prominence as understanding of the severity of concussions grows.  Utilizing the right protective equipment has become essential in lowering the likelihood and severity of these injuries since concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can have catastrophic repercussions. Hence the team at Broadview Spine & Health Centre would like you to know the importance of proper protective gear in preventing concussions.

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The Risks of Playing Sports With a Concussion

Second-Impact Syndrome

This syndrome develops when an athlete experiences a second concussion before the first has fully recovered. The disruption of the brain’s ability to control blood flow causes rapid swelling and pressure inside the skull. Second-impact syndrome can lead to significant brain damage, unconsciousness, and even death.

Prolonged Recovery Time

Playing sports after suffering a concussion can make recovery take longer and put you at risk for long-term complications. It usually takes a few weeks for most people to recover entirely from a concussion, but for other people, it could take months or even years. An athlete risks experiencing setbacks and delaying their recovery if they play again before their concussion has completely recovered.

Increased Risk of Future Concussions

Multiple concussions sustained over time may increase the risk of additional concussions and may result in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder that can cause cognitive and behavioural issues such as depression, anxiety, and memory loss. Football players and boxers are two sports where CTE is frequently observed in athletes who have sustained recurrent head trauma.

Behavioural and Cognitive Changes

Numerous cognitive and behavioural changes, including memory issues, trouble focusing, irritability, and depression, can be brought on by a concussion. Playing through the symptoms of a concussion might make them worse and cause long-term issues. Athletes who sustain a concussion can develop post-concussion syndrome, in which they continue to have symptoms for weeks or months after the incident.

Increased Risk of Accidents

An athlete is more likely to be involved in an accident or suffer another injury while playing if they have experienced a concussion since it can impair their balance, coordination, and reaction speed. This is particularly valid for high-impact sports like football, hockey, and soccer in particular.

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Typical Concussion Recovery Protocol

IMMEDIATE REMOVAL FROM PLAY

Athletes who are suspected of having a concussion should be taken out of play right away and examined by a doctor. Playing after suffering a concussion increases the risk of severe brain damage and perhaps fatal complications.

REST AND SYMPTOM MONITORING

Athletes who have been diagnosed with concussions should rest and stay away from mental and physical activities that make their symptoms worse. Headaches, nausea, vertigo, exhaustion, and sensitivity to light and noise are examples of symptoms. Athletes should follow up with their doctor on a frequent basis to assess their symptoms and make sure they are recovering as expected.

GRADUAL RETURN TO ACTIVITY

The athlete might start a regimen for a gradual return to activity after their symptoms have subsided. Typically, this protocol involves a step-by-step process, with each step introducing new physical and mental demands. Before proceeding to the next phase, the athlete must complete the previous one. The steps of the protocol are as follows:

  • Light aerobic exercises, such as walking or stationary cycling
  • Sport-specific exercises, such as running or skating drills
  • Non-contact training drills, such as passing or catching drills
  • Full-contact practice
  • Return to play

CLEARANCE TO RETURN TO PLAY

Athletes must receive a medical clearance before they may resume playing. A physical examination, cognitive testing, and symptom evaluation may be part of this clearance to make sure the athlete has fully recovered and is not in danger of getting hurt again.

It is vital to remember that everyone recovers from a concussion differently, and the procedure may need to be changed depending on how the patient is doing. Athletes should also observe their sport’s regulations and wear protective equipment to prevent concussions.

How Specialized Concussion Treatment Helps

Specialized concussion care can speed up recovery and increase safety in a number of ways. Here are a few ways that expert concussion care can be beneficial:

PRECISE DIAGNOSIS

A healthcare professional with experience in concussion management will often conduct an examination as part of specialized concussion therapy. This expert can diagnose the injury more precisely, which can result in more focused treatment and better results.

PERSONALIZED TREATMENT PROGRAMS

Individualized treatment plans may be created as part of specialized concussion care, depending on the nature of the injury, the athlete’s symptoms, and their particular requirements. Plans like these may combine medicine, therapies including vestibular and visual rehabilitation, and physical and mental rest.

CONCUSSION-SPECIFIC THERAPIES

Concussion-specific therapy can be used as part of specialized concussion care to address the unique problems that concussed athletes must overcome. These treatments can include vision rehabilitation, which treats visual problems that might happen after a concussion, and vestibular therapy, which focuses on enhancing balance and coordination.

RETURN-TO-PLAY DECISIONS

Making judgments about whether to resume playing can require the use of objective criteria in specialized concussion treatment. Computerized cognitive testing, balancing tests, and other scientific evaluations of brain function could all be included in these measurements. Healthcare providers can make better recommendations regarding whether an athlete is ready to return to play by using objective measurements.

Broadview Spine & Health Centre - Advanced Rehabilitation for Brain Injuries in Ottawa

Athletes should never play sports with a concussion because it's dangerous and can even be fatal. Continuing to play with a concussion increases the risk of severe brain damage and potentially deadly complications. Even a moderate concussion can have long-term effects if not treated properly. Your health and future are too valuable to jeopardize for a single game or season. By treating concussions with caution and responsibility, athletes can protect themselves and continue enjoying sports for years to come.

To ensure a safe and complete recovery after a concussion, seeking specialized concussion therapy is essential. Please contact us for comprehensive concussion treatment programs at Broadview Spine and Health Centre tailored to your needs. With years of experience in concussion management, our medical specialists use cutting-edge methods and equipment to facilitate your speedy and secure recovery. Schedule a consultation to learn how we can help you return to your sport and your normal life.