In many particularly intense sports – such as American football or boxing – there is the possibility that a concussion may occur. The consequence is that the sportsman who suffers it runs the risk of falling into a state of temporary inactivity.
The problem is that the symptoms of this condition are very general. If there is suspicion, for a period many medical checks and rest will be prescribed to monitor the health of the athlete. This theme can also create legal complications in some disciplines. But what to do if you suspect a concussion?
Brain concussion: what is it?
The concussion is a state that involves the alteration of brain function due to trauma.
Temporary unconsciousness is one of the symptoms, although in many cases it does not occur. For this, a medical examination is essential.
This type of accident can be caused by a blow to the head. Even bumps to the face, neck, and forehead can generate a concussion. This state can occur even if the trauma occurs in another area of the body that generates an impulse that affects the head.
The concussion is also known as a mild head injury. On a sporting level, these episodes can happen regularly. For example, around 300,000 bruises per year are calculated in the United States. The problem is that many athletes do not declare them for fear of losing opportunities in their sport.
A concussion presents a series of symptoms. First of all, the immediate reaction to the blow must be verified. It can be a loss of consciousness and fainting, as well as temporary visual anomalies.
Temporary amnesia is another of the symptoms that occur in some patients. Some kind of mental alteration may also occur; people who need help in the affected person must pay attention to all uncommon reactions.
Almost all symptoms tend to disappear between 48 and 72 hours after the injury. In the worst case, they can last for up to two weeks. Nevertheless, the problem of these events is the possible long-term effects on sportsmen.
How to act at first?
Faced with a possible concussion during activity, the athlete must stop. In fact, sometimes symptoms are not noticed and people continue to exercise. In reality, if there are suspicions, the best thing is to rest.
Then the patient must be visited. A paramedic will be able to identify the signs of a possible emotion; subsequently, it will be necessary to carry out the medical tests of rigor.
In most athletes, concussions do not create an impediment. Certainly, everything will depend on the level of contact of the discipline, the gravity and the age of the sportsman.
The neurologist is the specialist indicated to make this type of diagnosis; to check the state of the brain, computerized tomography and a nuclear magnetic resonance are performed.
Recovery time from a concussion
In some cases, recovery times are extremely important. During this period, the athlete must perform as little physical activity as possible.
Physical effort and all kinds of intellectual work are considerably reduced. In general, the patient receives all the necessary information from his doctor.
The minimum rest period for this disorder is 2 to 4 weeks. The real risk appears when an athlete receives another trauma without having recovered from the previous one. In this sense, it is believed that a sportsman increases the probability of suffering another contusion after receiving the first 2 to 4 times.
Although the concussion is usually not the cause of withdrawal, it is common for it to change the athlete’s dynamics. Over time, brain damage can appear due to less severe trauma. Thus, multiple brain bruises can cause long-term problems.
This disorder is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy; those suffering from it have symptoms similar to those of dementia, such as memory problems and perception of reality.
For all of the above mentioned, great care must be taken with headshots. The concussion is not simply a small injury and must be given the right importance to avoid major complications.