Loudoun County, Va. — The first day of school is quickly approaching which mean fall sports seasons are right around the corner. As the fall sports season gets started, a lot of parents and coaches should start thinking about the possibility of their athlete sustaining some type of injury. Unfortunately, it’s bound to happen especially if players have been relatively inactive over the summer. Jumping back into timed runs, sprints and various drills for their sport can be a shock to their bodies.
With most injuries, the athlete will display visible symptoms of injury like a bruise or swelling, or they will feel pain at the injury location like shin splints or a pulled shoulder muscle for example. But one common injury that is not visible, and therefore often hard to identify, is a concussion.
Because concussions happen within the skull, there are no visible signs of injury. So as parents and coaches, how do you know if your athlete has sustained a concussion?
A common misconception of concussion injuries is that they can only occur by hitting your head. This is false. Yes, a lot of concussions are caused by an impact to the head, but they can also result from a force causing the head to jar in a direction. Think about whiplash that occurs in a car crash or the sudden jarring of the neck and head that happens when a player falls down on the field. This is why high impact hits or falls cannot be taken lightly.
When an athlete has experienced a potential concussion hit or fall, there are several signs to look for are:
- Mood and/or behavioral changes
- Blurred vision
- Balance problems
- Light and/or noise sensitivity
If your athlete is experiencing any of these symptoms, they need to see a medical professional and be properly examined and tested for a concussion.
If your athlete gets hit or falls in a game or competition and is unconscious for any amount of time or begins vomiting, they need to be taken to the ER immediately.
When an athlete sustains a concussion, they must be evaluated by a medical professional. Once their symptoms have gotten to a manageable level or completely subsided, they will be progressed through the return-to-play protocol. When that process is complete, they will be able to return to their sport without any restrictions.
Note from our sponsor: At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, we will schedule the athlete to be seen the day the possible concussion happened or the same day you call. Concussion treatment is very time sensitive so the sooner the process is started, the better. Contact our office TODAY at 703.450.4300 so you can start the process of getting back into the game safely.