Can Concussion Care Be Improved for Teens?

brain_shaking.jpgMy best friend from high school, Becky, played so many sports and always got injured. She tore her ACL, she broke her wrist, but most of all she has gotten four concussions. A concussion "occurs when a sudden movement or direct force to the head sets brain tissue in motion within the skull." Studies done at Dartmouth and in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh show that each patient experiences concussions differently, and some people may show no signs of pain at all while others can be in agony. My dad, for example, plays soccer a few times a week and always gets knocked around and hit in the head. My dad probably is more sustainable to the injury than my friend Becky is. Becky has had to miss two months of our sophomore year because she had to sit in a dark room to ease the pain of her concussion. The study in the article say that the best way to help a teenager overcome a concussion is to ease them back into school and play gradually. They say that studies show that letting teens rest and do their normal activities at a more relaxed pace will help them adapt better. Playing video games and watching TV will help these teens get back to normal quicker. This makes me wonder why my friend had to sit in a dark room for weeks and couldn't have visitors or go on her computer. Different doctors believe different things, but a study done at Dartmouth University suggests that letting teens do what they want will help them get back on track quicker.
Another study that Dartmouth did showed that in a survey of 145 emergency room workers published in Journal Pediatrics showed that many doctors didn't use the guidelines or tell patients the proper instructions of how to treat a concussion. This worries me that people such as my friend have wasted so much time thinking that they are recovering when they really are not doing anything to better their health. Perhaps this is why Becky keeps on getting concussions. She hasn't healed from the first and her skull is still sensitive and every time she gets a hit to the head her skull gets more and more damaged. Studies are still trying to figure out how it is that some people don't get concussions and others get them very frequently, but I believe that it has something to do with the fact that they aren't treated correctly the first time, and also because of genetics. Until then though people should be careful on all of the impact they have, especially using their heads, because it can lead to swelling and bleeding in the brain that can cause more than just physical damage.


This is very interesting because the more i think about it, the more I can name people who once they got one concussion were more susceptible to getting another. The article given below gives many tips to help heal concussions. Such as,
"* Get plenty of sleep at night and rest during the day.
* Slow your activities levels down. Don't do too much, too fast.
* Avoid highly physical activities such as contact or recreational sports.
* Consult with your doctor about when it's safe to return to sports, drive a car or motorcycle, or operate equipment or machinery. It is important to keep in mind that your ability to react to stimuli, while recovering from a concussion, may be impaired.
* Don't drink alcohol.
* Make a habit of writing things down instead of depending on your memory.
* Consult with family and friends before making important decisions."
If people with concussions followed these tips closely, they will find themselves healed more quickly and fully.

Women are more susceptible to concussions than men due to size, muscle, and other variables so your friend is already more prone to injury than the other half of the population. However, what I have found as the biggest factor to concussions, especially in soccer, is strategy. Assuming the concussions are coming from heading the ball and not other unfortunate blows, a connection can be drawn between the different levels of play and the decrease in concussions from heading the ball as the level of play increases. This could be because the professional athletes have been trained to properly handle heading the ball while it is more likely that less experienced athletes will not be as familiar with the proper technique.

In a more abstract view if it is less technique and more genetics you could see that those prone to concussions don't advance in their career for that reason. If you get a concussion every time the ball touches your head you won't risk going brain dead over a game. Testing each hypothesis would be very difficult because their are so many third variables. I couldn't think of a way.. Any ideas?

I thought the comment about genetics' role in concussions is interesting, I found an article (below) that talks about a study of 200 athletes looking for a variation of a gene that helps repair the brain when damaged, and of those 200 athletes, 9 had concussions, and 8 of the 9 had the same variation of the gene. Obviously this isn't enough data to draw any conclusions but it certainly is an interesting topic. If there is a genetic link and a way to detect it, maybe we could use those facts to improve safety from head injuries. As for a legitimate experiment, that may be tough to get people willing to get concussions to find out, but this could be a start.

I agree.. There needs to be more done to help concussions. I have a feeling not enough is being done either because these concussions keep occurring and they're getting worse. This link is about steps to how this news station looked to solve concussions.

I am not sure however if the electronics are helpful or harmful to people with concussions. I have a friend who missed almost a year of school for his high amounts of concussions. He was in college for five years instead of four due to his lack of attendance because of the concussions. I also think that playing the sport again and constantly being hit in the head is not healthy for the concussions either.

I have heard certain stories that a certain amount of concussions can cause permanent brain damage. So tell your friend to watch out!

Have any of you had many concussions and realized permanent damage from it? Or observed this problem? I know it happens in commonly in football players.

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Everyone has heard of them as being the best car out there, mainly cause of gas prices. Hybrids are sweeping…
People everywhere are breaking up, just in time for the holidays. And the more couples I see parting ways, the…
Pregnancy Tests
While browsing Andrew's blog and looking to see all of the posts that I missed (I'm pretty sure I haven't…

Old Contributions