It’s that time of year again when students are heading back to school, some of whom are starting their preseason sports practices.

It is important that students, coaches and parents are aware of concussion risks, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment to help keep athletes safe.  A concussion occurs when an impact causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth, resulting in impaired brain function and information processing.  A 2013 study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that at the high school and college level in the U.S. – football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, and soccer had the highest rates of reported concussions for male athletes and soccer, lacrosse and  basketball had the highest rates of reported concussions for female athletes.

 

It is commonly assumed that a person can only have a concussion if he or she loses consciousness. However, concussions can cause a vast range of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. All people experience a different combination of symptoms, but some of the most common symptoms include drowsiness, headache, loss of consciousness, memory loss, irritability, confusion, dizziness, difficulty speaking, depression, nausea, vomiting and sleep issues.

 

Treatment becomes necessary when symptoms persist for more than a few days. A doctor will evaluate the severity of symptoms and recommend a length of time for resting the brain. This means the individual must avoid all physical exertion and activities that require thinking and concentration such as video games, watching television, reading, using a computer, texting and schoolwork. The doctor may request the patient to stay home from school, have shorter school days or lighten their work load. Activities are then slowly reintroduced until the patient has made a full recovery.

 

After an individual has sustained a concussion, he or she is much more likely to have another one, so prevention must be taken seriously. The most important thing to remember is that the student must fully recover before returning to play.

 

Bacharach utilizes the best treatments and therapists to help individuals with mild to severe concussions reach a full recovery and safely return to their sport. With 17 offices conveniently located throughout the area, Bacharach’s state-of-the-art facilities and highly trained staff will get you back on your feet faster than you ever thought possible. For more information, please call 609-652-7000.


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