The potential dangers of playing sports with a concussion are severe, if not fatal. However, many athletes attempt to play through this TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) either because they are unaware of the consequences or because their desire to win for themselves and their team pushes them. 

As such, the team at Broadview Spine and Health Centre would like you to know the dangers 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 With a Concussion recoveryPlaying 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.


Typical Concussion Recovery Protocol

Depending on the sport and the injury’s severity, several recovery plans could be used. When it comes to concussion recovery in sports, the majority of medical specialists adhere to a few broad principles. A common concussion rehabilitation plan for athletes is as follows:


Immediate Removal from Play

Athletes who are suspected of having a concussion should be taken out of play right once 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 in order to prevent concussions.


How Specialized Concussion Treatment Helps

Playing Sports With a Concussion treatmentSpecialized 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 Health Centre – Ottawa’s Advanced Concussion Clinic

Athletes should avoid playing sports with a concussion at all costs because it is risky and might even be fatal. Continued play while suffering from a concussion increases the risk of severe brain damage and perhaps deadly complications. Even a moderate concussion can have serious long-term effects if not treated properly. Your health and future are not worth putting in danger for a single game or season. Athletes can safeguard themselves and continue to reap the rewards of participating in sports for years to come by approaching concussions with caution and responsibility.

To guarantee a safe and complete recovery after a concussion, it’s imperative to seek specialized concussion therapy. Please contact us for thorough concussion treatment programs at Broadview Spine and Health Centre that are customized to meet your needs. With years of experience managing concussions, our team of medical specialists uses cutting-edge methods and equipment to aid in our patients’ speedy and secure recovery. Arrange a consultation and find out how we can assist you in returning to your sport and your life.