Sports are getting faster, stronger and definitely more dangerous. With all that comes more injuries, especially concussions. If you're an athlete that plays any type of contact or fast sport, you need the low down on concussions.
What's a Concussion?
The brain is made up of soft tissue and it's cushioned by blood and spinal fluid. When someone gets a blow to the head or hits something very hard, the brain suddenly shifts inside the skull and can knock against the skull's bony surface.
Obviously, a concussion happens when you get hit in the head, but did you know that you could also get one without getting hit in the head at all? Some concussions happen when your head whips or snaps while doing something really fast like running at top speed or riding a bike and something stops you on a dime... whiplash!
Signs & Symptoms
The most important thing about concussions is to stop immediately what you are doing and rest. If you get a concussion, your brain becomes very vulnerable and it can get worse with the slightest bit of movement. Here are the symptoms when you get a concussion:
- Feeling groggy and dizzy
- Vision is foggy
- Nausea, or wanting to throw-up
- Lasting headache, which could last for days afterwards
- Loss of balance
- Loss of reflexes in muscles (like when the doctor hits your knee with a small hammer... nothing happens)
- Getting knocked out (lose consciousness completely)
- Loss of memory (doctors will ask: what day of the week is it?/where are you?)
One of the greatest players to ever play hockey, Sidney Crosby, might never be as good as he used to be because of his concussion... he is the best example of why someone needs to stop playing sports as soon as they have a concussion.
In December of 2010, Sidney played in a very physical game against the Washington Capitals where he was hit in the head and received a concussion. Without seeing a doctor, Sidney went on to play his very next game, and when he was hit again his concussion became even worse and he couldn’t play for the rest of the season.
A concussion is a sneaky injury because the symptoms might not seem serious at first and they could get worse if you don’t rest and let your head heal. The most important thing to do after you have a concussion is to take it easy, and talk to a doctor before you play any sports or exercise.
Have Your Say!
So, have you ever had a concussion? Tell us all about your experience and how it has affected your life. Have your say in the comments below!