All-Pro Safety Coming to Grips with Past

Rodney Harrison was a FEARED defensive back playing the safety position.  Cut from the same cloth as Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, Harrison not only protected the end zone, he made dang sure you knew he was there.  Often he was seen absolutely destroying opponents on the gridiron, a human missile intent on separating the offensive player from the ball.  Most of his action was prior to what I have coined the “concussion era” in football – 2010 to present.

Sure we knew about concussions before then, sure we as medical professionals – especially athletic trainers – took them very serious, but until then the spotlight was not on this injury as it is now.  Harrison and other lethal defenders around his time – Steve Atwater – were not scrutinized nor were they penalized for those now deemed dangerous hits.  It was part of the game, and in some cases those types of hits are still perfectly legal and punishing.  Now Harrison who is approaching his 40th birthday is, well, his quote sums it up;

“I’m scared to death of what may happen to me,” the 39-year-old said.

On the Dan Patrick Show Harrison spoke freely about concussions and mostly his; Continue reading

NHL’er Recovers and Talks About it

John-Michael Liles of the Toronto Maple Leafs has had to endure the recovery from concussion in the midst of a playoff push by the team.  Having a concussion is nothing new to Liles – last year he sustained on for the Avalanche – but recovering mid-season is a whole new experience.  A process that is littered with many pitfalls; the greatest of which is pushing too hard and delaying the already arduous return to play.

Liles spoke to Jonas Siegel of TSN Canada about the problems;

For a series of seemingly endless mornings after the concussion, Liles would awake and obsessively check for symptoms, hoping they would finally disappear and he could begin the recovery process.  “Maybe you wake up and you feel good and then 20 minutes later you’re like ‘Man, I don’t feel good’,” he recalled. “It’s little things that can trigger it … You walk up a set of stairs sometimes and you’re like ‘Ah man, that was dumb’. It’s not like something where you do it and all of a sudden you’re like laying on the ground, but it’s something that you notice  where on a normal day it would be something that you wouldn’t even think twice about.”

Liles points out something that needs to be clearly understood, Continue reading

Recent Trend

The real job of this author not only includes being an athletic trainer for a local high school, but also doing rehabilitation on the entire spectrum of the population.  However, from time-to-time I am called upon to be a physician extender in a sports medicine doctors office.  The past few weeks I have been doing that more frequently and have noticed a very surprising trend.

Granted there is no “scientific evidence” of this trend, rather just my observation and upon asking questions to the doctor and the rest of the regular staff, they too have noticed relatively the same thing.

As we have progressed in the concussion era the doctor that we work for has been near the front on the concussion issue.  To his credit he used all the resources in the program to develop this progressive attitude and has taken all of his information along with others and developed a comprehensive concussion program.  When he started many, including some athletic trainers in the sports med program were in disagreement with the longevity and “conservative” nature of the treatment/management.  That quickly subsided with much of the evidence we have seen in the recent year, but it never really translated to acceptance among local coaches, school administrations, and players/parents.

All of the original skepticism about concussion care has slowly been washed away and this doctor has been accepted as one of the “go-to” guys in the area for this injury.  This is not the trend I speak of, although it is very nice to see; all the hard work of the athletic trainers has begun to sink in.

Rather the trend I am beginning to see is something mirrored in the national/international press Continue reading