I have been asked to write about concussions from time to time. I attempted a chapter on concussions for a book at some point, this is the conclusion of my writing as well as the sources, as I wrote it, no matter how horrible it is. After all I am not an author, but at least you can take a look. This particular chapter deals with concussions in the sport of football. We all should know this injury can be sustained in any sport. Because football is the biggest draw of sporting eyes I felt it was best to present it in this way. (Part I, Part II & III, Part IV, Part V & VI, Part VII & VIII, Part IX-XI)
Going Forward and Conclusion
There has been a lot of banter about what can be done to eliminate the epidemic of concussions, particularly in football. Let it be known that the injury of concussion is something that can and will continue in sport, no matter the changes. However there are things that can be addressed in order to bring this issue under control.
The key to all of this is the understanding of the injury, not only from inception but all the way through recovery, simply put, education and informed consent. Everyone that plays the sport or supports those that play should know what risks they are taking, from the broken toe to a concussion. This will allow all to make correct and prudent decisions regarding the safety of players. Along with the knowledge of this injury every person should what it takes to get back to the field safely and ACCEPT that. Erasing the stigma of the concussion epidemic is difficult due to the deeply ingrained traditions and money involved. It will not be easy but the number one thing that should be done is to get everyone on the same page.
Rule changes are another angle some are asking for; with the education this process will become much clearer. Reducing the exposure of contact will lessen the cases of this injury, but the game cannot and should not turn into a game of “backyard touch”. Decreasing the number of days in practice contact is allowed would significantly reduce the exposure and is a simple step, in terms of saying and implementing. Everyone should be on board with this as coaches would welcome “fresher” players and players would welcome “less pain” during the week. If everyone was held to those standards then pushing the envelope, Continue reading