Concussion Research on the Slopes


There are many places we can mine data to put the pieces of the concussion puzzle together.  Often it is focused on the gridiron, naturally because of the nature of the sport.  The other obvious place to conduct live testing is hockey and rugby, but those are not the only places where valuable research can be done.

In fact, there may be a conglomerate of athletes that can and do sustain a high number of brain injuries; we have highlighted this section of athletics before.  Even the Olympic version of action sports has its issues with concussions, ask Lindsey Vonn.

There is a team of athletic training students and professors from Weber State that are devoting their time not only to treat the mundane injuries of broken legs and arms but also gain experience and insight into concussions;

This is a common scene this year in the medical trailer at the Winter Dew Tour Toyota Championships, where a team of students from Weber State is conducting research they hope will lead to more definitive methods of diagnosing concussions in athletes of all types.

For several years, students in Weber State’s sports medicine program have helped take care of athletes injured during the course of the Dew Tour, both at the winter tour stop at Snowbasin and the summer stop in Salt Lake City. About a dozen students are on hand at Snowbasin this weekend.

Traumatic injury is something we deal with as athletic trainers; if an athletic trainer does not have enough experience/times seen of the unfortunate incidence of these types of injury it can be stressful;

“It’s great training for them, because they have to deal with trauma in sports anyway, but you could work in football for 10 years and maybe see one cervical spine injury, one subdural hematoma, a really nasty concussion and one or two organ lacerations,” Herzog said. “And (at the Dew Tour), they’re going to get several of those in a four-day period.”

The concussion research deals with what I believe is the King-Devik test as well as an unknown blood test.  The hope with this research is to find the most objective way to assess a very subjective injury.  Certainly Weber State is not the only place where this type of in situ research is happening, but the more information we can gather the better off we will be down the line.

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