Tuesday 14 May 2019

Concussions (Are Not Just A Sports Injury)

Concussions are a hot topic in sports, and the world watches all news and developments closely. They’re a real danger, and sport organizations are, thankfully, catching on quick to the need to treat them seriously.

However, there’s an odd disconnect between how concussions are considered in sport versus any other aspect of life. While it’s widely known that standard protocol dictates no sport participation until a concussion is fully healed, schools and workplaces are still lagging behind. Even insurance companies (*coughICBCcough*) do not treat concussions with the seriousness they require.

The fact of the matter is that concussions do not require a sport or even a car accident to occur. Workplace head injuries are incredibly common, but even simple household accidents such as a tumble down the stairs can be enough. And the struggle with concussion injuries outside of sport is a lesser awareness of the issue resulting in many cases going under-reported and undiagnosed.

Furthermore, anyone who’s been involved in sport understands the hardship of the time-off requirement when these head injuries occur, with almost forceful intervention often being needed to keep recovering athletes out of play. What happens, though, when an employee or student doesn’t have that same watchful eye to prevent them from returning to work or study too early? Unfortunately, pushing through these situations can result in the same complications as an athlete playing through concussions.

Fortunately, concussion reporting at work is seeing an increased rate, and almost assuredly due to increased awareness and not an increased true rate of injury. That being said, there is still room for growth as we work toward seeing brain health in everyday life being treated with the same urgent protocol as it would in sport.

Remember, just because you don't play football doesn't mean a knock to the head shouldn't be taken seriously. Physical AND mental rest and slow return to activity is vital for the brain to recover and best done under supervised, gradual exposure.

Athletic Therapists are one type of healthcare professional specifically trained for recognition and assessment of concussions as well as in return to activity protocol. Consider a consultation with one if you or someone you know is coping with this type of injury.


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