This latest blog was written by Jordan, a grade 11 co-op student from Banting Memorial High School, who will be with us until the end of the first semester.

When the word concussion gets brought up, most people immediately think of major contact sports such as hockey or football. Yes, these two sports are where the majority of concussions occur, and leagues have improved their guidelines and protocols for assessing and treating these kind of head injuries. For example, the NHL has set in place new protocol that if a player is suspected to have suffered a concussion, they will no longer get a quick assessment on the bench from a team physio, they will be brought to a quiet room free of distraction to be examined by a team physician for the symptoms of a concussion.

Although the measures the NHL and other hockey leagues are taking is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t solve the problem of concussions in sports where this injury is not as common. Take soccer for example- recalling an event that happened in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final in Brazil when a German midfielder Christoph Kramer suffered a blow to the head. When the Germany physio asked him how he felt he said that he just felt a little shaken up, so he returned to play. 14 minutes later he was immediately subbed off after he asked the ref where he was. This should have never happened because the minute he had hit his head he should have been examined for symptoms showing a concussion. Some soccer leagues in the United Kingdom have learned from this incident by inserting a physio in the match that does not belong to either team to prevent a biased decision on whether a player should continue or not. Although this approach is helping, it still does not solve the problem completely.

Nowadays, a team physiotherapist is very common in every professional sport, but the way a concussion is treated on field, on ice or on court isn’t consistent through each sport. In certain sports, concussions are taken very seriously and players receive immediate attention and are usually removed from the game. This should be the case in all sports not just a select few. In the last 10 years, head injuries (concussions in particular), have been occurring a lot more often due to how much more aggressive and competitive sports have become. Just like the sports are evolving, treatment for injuries such as concussions need to adapt to these changes. One easy way this problem can be solved is to put in place a universal rule for treating concussions. If a player is suspected of having a concussion, they should be immediately removed from the game without question and taken to be assessed for symptoms so that the recovery and rehabilitation can start immediately helping to prevent long term effects from their injury. This will insure the injured player receives the treatment necessary and a prolonged career in their sport of choice. Head injuries should be taken seriously and treated immediately!

If you have recently suffered a concussion or any other type of injury, visit one of our supremely skilled physiotherapists at South Simcoe Physiotherapy!

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