What is the Concussion Protocol for Football
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An often undiagnosed danger
Concussion is the most common type of head injury. A duel with an opponent or just a hard header can be enough to cause a head injury. The consequences that can be seen quickly are bumps, cuts or, in the worst case, a break in the face. The player is treated and is back on the field within a few days. What is often forgotten is the resulting concussion. We will explain this to you.
A common consequence of a slight brain injury is the so-called post-commotional syndrome (“post” means “after”, “commotio” stands for “concussion”). This clinical picture can be recognized by symptoms such as dizziness, headache, neuropsychiatric symptoms and disorders of the mental functions of the brain. Post-commotional syndrome occurs in around 30 to 80 percent of head injuries, the severity of which varies.
A blow or similar force on the head always causes different damage to nerves and tissue in the brain, which can also result in biochemical changes. Furthermore, a number of observations suggest that in addition to structural changes in the brain, psychological consequences can also occur.
Increased risk during sport
Pressure to perform, full commitment, little consideration for one's own body: the risk of a concussion is increased, especially with competitive athletes. In addition, the concussion itself is rarely considered and players strive for the shortest possible downtime.
However, in this situation it is particularly important not to expose yourself to renewed risk too early, despite the training plans. Research has shown that minor cognitive impairments that are barely noticeable in everyday life persist for a while after the injury. These impairments relate to concentration, attention, memory, and learning, which also increases the risk of re-injury. If you get back into training too early after a concussion, permanent damage to brain function cannot be ruled out. Therefore: Absolute rest after a concussion.
Sufficient recovery time prevents consequential damage
In the event of a concussion, only absolute rest and physical restraint will help. This also includes a drastic reduction in external stimuli such as cell phones, computer games, prolonged television viewing or reading for at least a week. Painkillers for severe headache and neck pain help treat acute symptoms. But you should always discuss this with a doctor. Nausea can be relieved well with a warmed cherry stone pillow and natural remedies such as lemon balm tea.
Competitive athletes are only allowed to start football training again when they are symptom-free both in a resting state and under stress. Depending on the severity of the head injury, it can take several days to weeks, as demonstrated by various examples from the Bundesliga.
The dangers of a concussion should not be underestimated. For this reason, rest and physical protection are an absolute must after such a diagnosis. Anyone who disregards this risks permanent damage to brain function. Ultimately, your health is not worth taking such a risk.
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