Relating

I’ve written two blog posts (attempted posts, really) about relating to people since my brain injury. They now sit in the ‘Posts’ section as drafts Relating 1 and Relating 2. I was happy with my first one until I realized that I just kept talking about my brain injury and recovery, very slowly meandering to a vague point. So I started a second post. That one was more direct and I was writing some good stuff! At least that’s how it felt at the time. That time, however, as I was really going at the crux of the post, I realized that I couldn’t truly relate to what I was writing. Bringing me to my this third and hopefully final attempt.

In my previous 2 drafts I concentrated my writing on why I found it difficult to relate to people since my brain injury, about how many of their experiences weren’t my experiences. In the midst of that narration, I began a spiel about how the comparison of the feelings from one experience to another, different experience, is based on a false premise. While writing that, I started to figure out Continue reading

Advertisements

Book Review: Concussions and Our Kids – Dr. Robert Cantu

Due out tomorrow, Tuesday, September 18th, is Dr. Robert Cantu’s most recent writing on brain trauma; more specifically the concussion and how it relates to the ‘kids’.  Dr. Cantu is THE expert when it comes to concussions, heck his CV is so expansive it would take up like 7 pages on here.  The man knows his stuff; collaborating with Mark Hyman I believe he has written a book that is worth the read for everyone interested in this topic.  By writing this book they not only address the concussion issue but the “iceberg below the surface” the youth athletes and their care.  Obviously the millions that partake in sport and recreation are not privy to the top of the line medical staffs that the professional and high college athletes have at their disposal.

With Dr. Cantu’s wealth of knowledge there was a chance this book could have been written above the audience – so to speak – but after reading it twice I have found it to be perfectly succinct and to the point.  There is no beating around the bushes and you definitely get the feeling of where Dr. Cantu stands on this pressing issue.  All of that being said there are some points that I disagree with, but remember my favorite Japanese Proverb: “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

The book begins with the most important topic, in my opinion, “what is a concussion?”, delving into the brain and its physiology.  Don’t be scared, it is a well written chapter and explains to the layman how and what we feel determines a concussion.  Highlighting that section is the explanation of linear and rotational acceleration and why one is way more important than the other.  If you have read here enough you will note that the rotational aspect of the traumatic force to the brain bucket is the most troublesome, Cantu agrees.  In this chapter Cantu also discusses the term “rest”, and what we are all trying to convey, especially to the youth.  Rest is both physical AND cognitive, meaning not using your brain.

The next two chapters deal with collision sports Continue reading

Two Excellent Researchers Discussion Concussions

If you get the chance you should take the time to read the research that has been done by David Hovda, PhD and Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC; not only is it good information but it has been some of the leading information.  These two gentleman do a great job of explaining the issues and making them more tangible for everyone.

On September 6th, both Hovda and Guskiewicz had a real-time chat about concussions on ScienceLive;

ScienceLive, Science magazine’s weekly web discussions with experts in various fields, will examine the issue of sports- and combat-related head injuries during a web chat at 3 p.m. Eastern today. Guests include Kevin Guskiewicz of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and David Allen Hovda, the Director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center.

You can click the link above to go and read the replay of the chat, a must for those looking for information and would be a good idea if you have kids playing sports now.  Below are selected comments from the chat; Continue reading

Balance Assessment: key in detection and rehabilitation

So last night in the 1st quarter of the junior varsity game our team was fielding a punt, the returner bobbled the ball and started to lean forward to recover it.  He was then drilled in the chest/head by two oncoming defenders.  He laid there for a second, and about a second later I was standing over him.

He attempted to sit up but could not muster the energy, nor wherewithal to complete this easy task.  After the routine checking of neck and gross neurological issues it was time to stand him up.  With the aid of me and another coach he was brought to his feet and it was time for his first and most important concussion test, balance assessment.

One nanosecond after the coach and I released stabilization he grabbed me like I was the rock in his world.  FAIL.  As we turned to the sideline he started walking not in the direction we were pointed. FAIL.  I didn’t need sophisticated tests to tell that this player was “possibly” suffering from a concussion.

Gross and fine balance are easily disrupted with any head trauma.  Not only are your bearings in your head messed up, the inner ear is affected, along with vision.  That is why, in my professional opinion, Continue reading

Finally Addressing Adcademic Concerns of Concussions

This one is a very good seminar for anyone who deals with school aged children and once again it is free.  This event will be put on by the CDC and the most poignant part is the academic and return to school concerns when dealing with the brain injury known as concussion.  It has been my opinion that not only have the parents and schools underplayed the seriousness of returning to school with a brain injury, the medical community has been behind as well.  Brain health will need to be though of as physical health going forward.  Not only is stressing the cognitive parts of the brain while injured a problem, the most overlooked portion of school is something Don Brady has been the champion of, the emotional wellness of the brain/individual.

Get yourself registered, set a reminder on your phone (just tell Siri) and take notes; parents especially.

==========

CDC Heads Up to Schools Webinar for Schools Professionals

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST.

Click below to register for a FREE CDC webinar on concussion in schools (K-12): https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3354303556335213312

This webinar will help you:  

  • Learn the signs, symptoms and effects of a concussion on students K-12.
  • Know how to prevent and respond to concussions in school.
  • Explore school-wide approaches to addressing concussion.
  • Learn ways to support individual students returning to school after a concussion.

Invited presenters include:

 

Julie Haarbauer-Krupa, Ph.D.

B.R.A.I.N. Program Coordinator

Children’s Health Care of Atlanta

 

Karen McAvoy, Psy.D

Director of the R.E.A.P Program

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children

 

CDC is dedicated to improving the lives of Americans and keeping them safe from injury. Through the Heads Up program, CDC provides information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to concussion, and more serious brain injuries.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/Concussion.

ATSNJ Sports Safety Summit Update

You have certainly seen me publicizing the Athletic Trainer Society of New Jersey and their 3rd Annual Sports Safety Summit, it is for a good reason.  Eric Nussbaum and his staff do a VERY, VERY good job!  I would travel that way for this event anytime, however I will be a keynote speaker in Iowa the day after (guess UPS and their “Logistics” can’t fix that for me).

But wait, there is some great news for anyone interested is seeing what all the hype is about, Eric emailed me yesterday to tell me that the Summit will be broadcast live, for FREE!  You will not be able to get CEU’s this way, but at the very least you can hear all the great information from the wonderful panel they have assembled.

Here are the deets:

  • All people will need to do is log onto their site, (www.concussiontv.com) and register.
  • On the day of the event (August 1st) you simply log in to view.

Click the link at the top to get the information.  Here is a run down of the presenters: Continue reading

Bombshell Found in Sports Illustrated Vault

Thanks to @ConcernedMom9 I was sent an article from Sports Illustrated written by Michael Farber.  Before I tell you the year and provide the link I want so share some quotes from it;

“People are missing the boat on brain injuries,” says Dr. James P. Kelly, director of the brain-injury program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Medical School. “It isn’t just cataclysmic injury or death from brain injuries that should concern people. The core of the person can change from repeated blows to the head.

“I get furious every time I watch a game and hear the announcers say, ‘Wow, he really got his bell rung on that play.’ It’s almost like, ‘Yuk, yuk, yuk,’ as if they’re joking. Concussions are no joke.”

That sounds very similar to what we are discussing now in 2012.

======

•Of the 1.5 million high school football players in the U.S., 250,000 suffer a concussion in any given season, according to a survey conducted for The American Journal of Public Health.

•A player who has already suffered a concussion is four times more likely to get one than a player who has been concussion-free. Quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and defensive backs are most vulnerable, […] that special teams players were at the highest risk per minute spent on the field.

•Concussions are underreported at all levels of football. This is partly because of the subtlety of a mild concussion (unless a player is as woozy as a wino, the injury might go undetected by a busy trainer or coach) but primarily because players have bought into football’s rub-dirt-on-it ethos. “If we get knocked in the head, it’s embarrassing to come to the sideline and say, ‘Hey, my head’s feeling funny,’ ” says San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young, who has suffered at least a half dozen concussions. “So I’m sure we’re denying it.”

•Football’s guidelines for players returning after concussions are sometimes more lenient than boxing’s. The New Jersey Boxing Commission requires a fighter who is knocked out to wait 60 days and submit to an electroencephalogram (EEG) before being allowed back into the ring.

•According to Ken Kutner, a New Jersey neuropsychologist, postconcussion syndrome is far more widespread than the NFL or even those suffering from the syndrome would lead us to believe. […] Kutner says that the players fear that admitting to postconcussion syndrome might cost them a job after retirement from football.

Hmmm, we all thought this was information new to us – new being 2008.

======

That, however, doesn’t console Lawrence and Irene Guitterez of Monte Vista, Colo. “He just thought it was something trivial,” Irene says of her son, Adrian, who was a running back on the Monte Vista High team three years ago. “He had a headache and was sore, but it seemed like cold symptoms. He wasn’t one to complain. He wouldn’t say anything to anybody. He wanted to play in the Alamosa game.”

He did play. At halftime Guitterez, who had suffered a concussion in a game two weeks before and had not yet shaken the symptoms, begged teammates not to tell the coaches how woozy he felt. When he was tackled early in the third quarter, he got up disoriented and then collapsed. Five days later he died.

Years later another Colorado high school football player, Jake Snakenberg, would unfortunately repeat history; leading to the concussion legislation passed in that state.

======

Do you have a guess on the year… Continue reading

Quick Hits 6/26/12

NFL Tells Rooks Not to Hide Concussions:

Cleveland Browns’ team physician spoke at the rookie symposium to warn the incoming players not to hide symptoms of concussions;

At the rookie symposium, Shickendantz said the league cares about the players’ well-being.

“Our only agenda is your health and safety,” he said. “It’s about you, not about us.”

The reality is it’s about everyone. It’s true that players sometimes avoid getting checked out by team doctors because they don’t want to be removed from games, and it’s true that’s a very bad idea. But it’s also true that sometimes players are mistakenly cleared to return to games even when they have been checked out by team doctors, and that’s a bad mistake.

Check out Michael David Smith’s quick take on Shickendantz being the selected speaker.  It will be very difficult to change the culture at the professional level (see money), it needs to begin at the youth level.

==========

Steve Young Speaks About Concussions:

He may have took the time to address the concussion issue, however Steve Young really said nothing about concussions.  Even downplaying his own concussions during his career.  However he does feel the NFL is on the right path;

“I saw a quote from one of the players who suspected that in 20 years it wouldn’t be football any more,” Young said. “I think that scared everybody.”

However Young believes the NFL is taking proper steps to make sure today’s players won’t be as affected in the future by concussions.

“The league is getting serious about it and they know that it is important,” he said. “Now they have a whole way of dealing with it and there’s a protocol for how it’s handled. I talked to Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady about this recently and both felt very strongly that they’re getting the best care. Once you have a concussion, it is very hard to get back on the field.”

The last comment about getting back on the field is extremely Continue reading

Part of Recovery is a Visual Component

More and more information coming in is dealing with the recovery/therapy for the 10-15% of those concussion patients that have symptoms linger longer than 7-10 days.  Just like the initial management of concussions none of it is tried and tested in the scientific world; however results are positive with many things.  For example we have discussed “Wiihabilitation”, vestibular training, and immediate activity (Buffalo Protocol); thanks to the inbox we can examine a tool for vision enhancement and visual therapy.

As with most products that send me email I ask they present in a story, something we can understand and identify.  After they send the email I then read and provide feedback if changes are needed to be on the blog; as well as follow up with their product.  Per my usual stance I am not endorsing this product, merely providing more information for readers that are looking for help/ideas.  You can think of it as screening products.

Without further ado here is the information about Dynavision;

Cincinnati, OH (May 30, 2012)—Jen Umberg never saw it coming. It was May 23, 2011, during a terrible storm in Cincinnati. Winds were gusting and she was trying to get inside. But before she could, she was hit in the head by her neighbor’s hose box that flew from next door.  Momentarily knocked unconscious and 4 1Ž2 feet from where she was, all she could think about was, what just happened?

“I felt the most intense pain of my life,” Umberg remembers, “I thought I had been shot by a bullet.”

Umberg was left with a concussion at the same time she was rehabbing from foot surgery a few weeks prior.  Two months after her accident, Jon Divine MD, her doctor and the Head Team Physician for The University of Cincinnati Bearcats, directed her to begin rehab at UC with their athletes using the Dynavision D2.  As part of her neurological evaluation, Joe Clark PhD used Dynavision to measure and train/retrain visual, cognitive and peripheral deficits.

“He developed a plan for a Novacare athletic trainer to use with me,” Umberg said, “ When my progress plateaued Continue reading

Your brain needs exercise and nutrition too

The benefits of exercising, keeping fit and eating healthily have been impressed on us (society, specifically North American society in which I live) for a long time. Unfortunately, it hasn’t exactly caught on. It came close when Jared lost a bunch of weight eating subs everyday. Although Jared is to be commended for deciding to eat healthier and smaller portions, that campaign ended up being a better marketing gimmick than a healthy eating trend. Magazines, ranging from fitness to news, have urged us to exercise and eat healthily as well, but these attempts have generally failed when the timelines to do this fall outside of one week – a month at the longest. Magazines also compete with each other to give “the best” advice. However, “the best” advice is no match for “the easiest” advice and as magazines compete with each other, conflicting diets and exercise routines can very easily overwhelm someone whose commitment to keeping fit equates to their commitment to picking up a magazine. I should be fair, some of these routines actually work and give good advice about being healthy. Another option is using common sense. We’ve been cautioned about remaining sedentary and eating unhealthily and the negative consequences that has for our heart, one of our vital organs. But what about another vital organ, the brain?

The importance of exercise and nutrition (the first two articles) for brain health cannot be understated. Exercise, notably aerobic exercise, is like practice for your brain’s neural pathways. The better trained your neural pathways are, the stronger and more efficient they are. Not only that, aerobic exercise also improves the adaptive abilities of the brain. When I was brain injured, some pathways in my brain were disturbed, but my brain has found new routes in which it Continue reading

Concussion Article Links – MUST READ

Since the tragic and untimely death of Junior Seau the concussion issue has begun to fester like a three-day old pimple on a 13 year-old’s greasy face.  It is ready to pop and keeping up with all of the pertinent articles and “specials” has been very trying.  In this post I will attempt to link up and highlight as many as I can (surely I will miss many, however Concerned Mom in the comment section will have more).

—–

Lets begin with ESPN and the Outside the Lines week-long look at concussions.  I have found this to be must see, my DVR is a testament to this; using previous stories and bringing in commentators on the subject have provided information and even fireworks.  Yesterday Merril Hoge and Matt Chaney did just that – provide information and create fireworks.  You can find the podcast here (panelists begin about 7:30 mark).

Hoge drew my ire earlier this week with his admonishing of Kurt Warner’s statement of being a father, however yesterday he did have a very valid point about the management of concussions.  I have said is ad nausea here: the elephant in the room is the management of concussions, however Hoge sounded a bit “underconcerned” about the actual injury.  Which is where Chaney had very valid points about the exposure of concussions to the youth.  They are both right in my estimation; the management is the larger issue but we are seeing too many too young people being effected by concussions.  There needs to be work in both areas and remember this is not just a football issue.

We have the duty to protect our kids and if that means flag football for 5-13 year-olds then I am cool with that.  If we find after making such a drastic change that has not been enough then we can take it further if needed.  I feel that a change like this will allow a few things: 1) more time to let the brain develop and thus allowing research to catch up to what we know.  2) employ more medical providers in a position to find, assess and manage concussions (see athletic trainers). And 3) begin a culture shift about the seriousness of concussions, after all this is a brain injury.

As Chaney later told me; Continue reading

Concussion Information from UB

Dr. John J. Ledy performed a webinar for the Brain Injury Association of New York State.  It is a very interesting topic; how to utilize controlled exercise in concussion recovery.  This video was published on YouTube by BIANYS, it is over an hour in length but like most stuff I put on here it is worth the listen.

Again this falls under the mantra “none of us is as smart as all of us.”

This is a Current Treatment for the Concussive Episode

First and foremost there is no “scientific” evidence of actual medical effectiveness with the product, however there has been recent and popular observational data to suggest that this modality and product may help.  The said product is the GyroStim;

The GyroStim™ is a fully automated, computer-controlled multi-axis rotating chair. Its spacious design is comfortable and safe, and can accommodate many types of individuals ranging from small children to elite athletes to those with significant disabilities.

I bet any sports fan out there has seen it, it was highlighted in the recovery of Sidney Crosby and most recently another NHL star Guillaume Latendresse of the Minnesota Wild.  The thought process is that when a concussion occurs one of the systems affected is the vestibular.  For the layman the vestibular system is responsible for our awareness in space using very fine and specific equipment in the inner ear.  Imagine when you were younger and had just gotten out of a pool from swimming and had water in your ears, then you decided to shake your head or run real fast and found yourself “a bit off”.  This is similar in nature with a concussion, the violent forces to the head can create a disruption of this system, Continue reading

Possible treatment for concussion?

As we progress on the concussion front there are many aspects of this PROCESS that we are still finding out about.  One of the most pressing is how to treat the after-effects of the injury.  Current management can help abate the symptoms of roughly 85% of those suffering from the injury, for the other 15% there are few “treatments” that have worked across the board.  Off label use of FDA approved drugs has shown promise for some, like Hillary Werth;

Werth, a brakeman who was considered an Olympic hopeful, had her bobsledding career cut short by a series of concussions she suffered while competing in Germany and Canada.

Despite the injuries, she said she doesn’t regret her relatively brief time with the team. And she is thankful for the novel intravenous treatments she received after the concussions — treatments for which scientists are seeking Food and Drug Administration approval because they believe millions of stroke patients across the country could benefit. Continue reading

Innovative Concussion Care Concept

It seems that I often am applauding the efforts north of the border in Canada, it really seems that they have put a concerted COMBINED effort to seek out and implement innovative ideas.  I don’t think it says much about the United States other than we are all trying to do our best in our own little areas.  There is little consortium or conglomeration of effort, rather “‘A’ has found this”, “‘B’ has discovered this”, “‘C’ is saying this”, etc, etc, etc…

It may be the same up north but with the population centers mainly in fewer areas in Canada it seems that the Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver areas seem to all be on the same page.  This could also be because of the overall influence of the Brain Injury Association of Canada and its influence on such things.

This idea is not from the BIAC, but it has some solid foundations none the less, including our partner in concussion awareness stopconcussions.com with Kerry Goulet and Keith Priemeau at the lead.  They have created a vision and group of like-minded individuals to create what they are calling Sports Concussion Care Clinic.  Here it is in a press-release; Continue reading

House Hearing on TBI

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health spent some time on Monday holding a hearing on traumatic brain injury (TBI).  We all know that the spectrum of this injury can range from the severe to the mildest forms (mTBI) also know as concussions.  The government has been involved with TBI since 1996 funding further research and subsidizing awareness/education programs with the passage of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996;

What the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996 Mandates

Public Law 104-166 charges CDC with implementing projects to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury. Specifically, the legislation mandates that CDC shall:

  • Develop a uniform reporting system for traumatic brain injuries.
  • Conduct research into the identification of effective strategies for preventing traumatic brain injury.
  • Implement public information and education programs for preventing TBI and for broadening public awareness about the public health consequences of TBI.
  • Provide technical assistance, either directly or through grants and contracts, to public or nonprofit entities for planning, developing, and operating projects to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury.
  • Present a report to Congress that describes the incidence and prevalence of traumatic brain injury.

Funding for all these activities was authorized at $3 million for each of the fiscal years 1997, 1998, and 1999.

The Act has been amended many times, the last, in 2008.

The House heard from witnesses about Continue reading

Now This is a Possible Game Changer

There have been many attempts to create a concussion “game changer”, something that will bring the assessment and/or recovery into better focus and provide more concrete answers for all of us.  One thing many people keep forgetting is that the human brain is not only very complex but it is also very individual.  Creating blanket statements, guidelines, and recommendations are very difficult; unless of course you use a multidisciplinary approach that touches on every part of the concussion sequale.

If you have read long enough and seen the comment section you will know that we have been clamoring for a more comprehensive, evidence-based, set of recommendations that broach all four parts of a concussion: physical, cognitive, sleep, and social/behavioral.  Perhaps the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation has done just that (.pdf at end of post and in “Current Concussion Management Page” or you can go to the ONF website);

ONF is pleased to publicly release the Guidelines for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) and Persistent Symptoms.  The Guidelines were generated through a consensus process using existing evidence and clinical expertise. 10 to 15% of people who sustain MTBI do not recover well or as expected. The guidelines are therefore aimed at treating and reducing the impact of persistent symptoms following MTBI in adults.  On behalf of the project team that oversaw this work, ONF welcomes feedback on the Guidelines to info@onf.org

There have been other guidelines, one we hold as the standard (note not gold standard) Continue reading

Concussion – After Injury Care

Most cases of concussion resolve spontaneously over time, we have had discussions on here that vary from 72 hours to 6 months or longer – however, people/researchers are trying to find a way to help along recovery.  Most of this is an inexact science, to say the least, it is almost the ol’ adage of “throw crap on the wall and see if it sticks.”

Lindsay Barton wrote a great summation of current ideas for therapy for lingering effects of concussion, in some cases being classified as PCS, or post concussion syndrome, for Mom’s Team.  I do like his list which includes;

  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Chiropractic Neurology
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Amantadine
  • “Buffalo Protocol”
  • Epsom Salts

The first three are very “hands on” Continue reading

UPMC and Recovery Predictor?

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and its concussion program have released what they think is a new model to predict how long each individual may take to recover.  Lead researcher on this topic is Dr. Micky Collins who stated in a press release that this information is a “game changer”.

The study involves the ImPACT neurocognitive testing platform (developed by UPMC) and its results two days after injury.  Although the actual score has not been released publicly; it will appear in the next issue of Neurosurgery.  The benefits of such a specific diagnostic indicator would be tremendous for a lot of interested parties.

At the end of the press release/story Dr. Collins indicated something that is similar to what we posted yesterday; “Eighty percent of concussed people recover inside of three weeks.”

This information is all well and good but I would like to speak to some initial “wait a second” thoughts I have regarding this study; Continue reading

Video Game Testing and Rehab

Using the video game platform from Nintendo, the Wii, is not novel as much as it may be possibly underused.  One of the first posts on this blog dealt with the usage of the Wii at two different universities, on a trial basis.  What brings me back to this topic; a search earlier this month revealed an article from February of last year and the usage of the Wii at a high school in Pennsylvania;

Testing high school athletes for concussion symptoms is a serious business, but one way the Haverford School athletic training staff is accomplishing this is through a game – Nintendo Wii Fit Plus.

The Wii Fit Plus module contains several games that require balance and coordination – some even require thinking, processing and then quick decisions translated into body movements.

This is what some people are now calling “Wii-hab” from a concussion.

“There are only a few colleges that I know of who are using the Wii as part of a concussion protocol, and I am not aware of any high schools in our area that are using it [for that purpose] yet,” said Haverford School athletic trainer Bill Wardle.

I have always thought that this could be used Continue reading

White Paper

Sometime today Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), headed by Dr. Robert Cantu and Chris Nowinski are going to release a “white paper” that will “plan to spread successful NFL policy changes to all youth sports,”  this according to Irvin Muchnick via his blog Concussion Inc.

What is a white paper?  Glad you asked it is important for context (via Wikipedia);

A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and may be a consultation as to the details of new legislation. The publishing of a white paper signifies a clear intention on the part of a government to pass new law. White Papers are a ” … tool of participatory democracy … not [an] unalterable policy commitment.[1] “White Papers have tried to perform the dual role of presenting firm government policies while at the same time inviting opinions upon them.”

It is mentioned that along with SLI, Boston University’s Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (headed by Dr. Ann McKee) will be in the white paper as well.

I will be interested to see what exactly they are Continue reading

Good Reminder About Rest

Although most point to physical rest as the major component of concussion management the truth of the matter is that all activity that affects brain activity needs to be limited after a concussion.  If we use the “snow globe” analogy; all the flakes in the globe must come to rest before exposing it to further activity.  What excites the “flakes” or brain, honestly, just waking up does this.  That is why I have been hammering on the need for COMPLETE rest after a concussive episode.  It is also why I am a firm believer in getting kids out of school while the brain injury heals.

This information is not new to you that read the blog, but it seems that this management technique is just catching on as a principal protocol, rather than using it if there are setbacks; Continue reading

2011 Concussion Report – End of Regular Season

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly compiling of the reported head injuries in the National Football League.  Concussions are added to the list each week from multiple sources to give you the reader a picture of what is happening on the field.  Each week we will bring you the information along with relevant statistics.  If we have missed a concussion or put one on here erroneously, let us know (we will also be using Fink’s Rule to classify a concussion/head injury).

The 2011 NFL season had a lot of different story lines; from Tebow to Green Bay’s run to San Francisco coming from nowhere.  However the biggest story, as far as we are concerned, was the concussion issue.  Looking back at last year we posted our final numbers for 2010 and some thoughts going forward.

Of the suggestions proposed in the wrap-up last year the only issue addressed (kind of) was the awareness component.  This is actually not measurable, however with the increase in the number of concussions this year I would confidently say that it was better.  As for Continue reading

What Are Concussions Costing NFL Owners?

I was approached by a reader to figure out what concussions are “theoretically” costing owners/teams in terms of salary.  His thought, a good one, was to illustrate the economic impact to the NFL and owners that an investment in a completely independent concussion “think tank” could save money in the long run.  The last time we ran the numbers was in week 13, we are efforting the final numbers for 2011.

There were some limitations in determining this overall impact to the owners:

  • Finding exact contract information for each player
  • Determining exact loss of game time due to concussion
  • Exactly accurate listings of injury

To our knowledge there is no published information on this topic, therefore this presentation of information is the first of its kind, and we truly understand that this is not 100% accurate, but it does give an idea of what is happening in terms of concussion and lost salary.

Based upon our findings the average salary for a concussed player/game in the NFL through 13 weeks was Continue reading

Marines Tracking Concussions/TBI

Effective January 1, the United State Marine Corps will begin tracking all marines and sailors who have sustained head injuries;

The Marine Corps wants to make sure Marines and sailors who suffer concussions and other head injuries are tagged and tracked in a medical database, which officials hope will lead to better health care and treatment.

Starting Jan. 1, every unit will be required to record its Marines and sailors who suffer, or previously had suffered, a traumatic brain injury at any time.

This is a great bit of news for the men and women in uniform, as head injuries compromise the majority of all injuries in the Afgan and Iraq theaters. Here is how Gidget Fuentes wrote how it will work; Continue reading