I have posted many a video about concussions here on the blog but this one (thanks to Tommy Dean) may be the best for its pure simplicity and message about management;
People need to understand that concussions don’t have to involve a hit to the head. I have seen throngs of people on Twitter and other places not grasping this. Perhaps none more so in the product development sector; those very intuitive people with good ideas that think protecting the head will reduce concussions. Be it a helmet addition, or better helmet, or those that want to remove helmets from the game, what they fail to grasp is that linear hits to the head with linear forces alone do not constitute the majority of concussion sequale. The concussion comes as a result of a constellation of factors; the biggest of which is the acceleration/deceleration of the head, followed closely by the shearing (due to angular and rotational forces) of the head. If you notice most mechanisms of injury one would easily note that knocks to the head with limited movement of the head itself, are not the vast majority of concussions seen. The hits a person takes in sports and LIFE that are unanticipated and have multiple vectors is where we get a lot of concussions from.
For a better visual, if I were to say to you I am going to punch you in the face from the right side, and you had a chance to brace for it, there is a good chance you could absorb that blow with little to no problems. However if I were to not say a word and walk up and hit you in the same spot with the same force, the chances you will be “hurt” are much greater. When you anticipated the hit you would have braced and made the force almost strictly linear, with little rotation due to your neck muscles… Where as, the sucker punch would move your head sideways and back; quickly accelerating your head then suddenly it would be decelerated by the spine range of motion limits.
I hope this has provided some positive learning for everyone…
We are beginning a new program here at TCB. This one is called “Outreach”; the purpose is to publicize the good (we hope the vast majority) and sometimes the not so good of concussion management across this vast planet. One thing I realized real quick in Zurich is that the stories of the bad are relatively the same, but unheard. Meanwhile the stories of good are different and helpful and not heard at all. I am asking our readers to send in stories of your cases (please be mindful identifying specifics) so we can share. There are vast stories in the comment section but I would like to bring forward as many as possible.
The stipulations are simple: 500-2000 words with specific situations that we all can learn from and benefit from, email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and consent to possible editing as I see fit. It would be nice if you included a bio or frame of reference, but if you would like to remain anonymous that is fine to (however, it would be good if you included something like “licensed doctor in _____ (state)” or coach, athletic trainer, mom, dad, etc.
As Dr. Kissick stated in Zurich it is high time we start sharing as much information as possible. I will do my best to weed through the “complaints” and “uninformed” from the group; be a “gate-keeper” if you will. Trust me (as you have witnessed on this blog) I will get information out!
By Tommy Dean, ATC, LAT
You can’t turn on the TV today or open the newspaper without hearing about concussions. It seems like over the last few years there have been more superstar athletes who have suffered this injury, especially from those who played “back in the day” and are now coming forward and bringing their multitude of recent struggles to the forefront that have been caused by multiple concussions.
But the problem doesn’t start in the NFL. It starts at the youth level. It starts at home.
Every Saturday and Sunday families gather to watch collegiate and NFL games, bringing society together on common ground for a day or two. In a way, however, this culture can also tear us apart. When kids and parents see elite athletes take punishing hits and stumble off the field only to be returned by the medical staff just minutes later it raises questions and causes confusion about concussions.
What must be understood is that there is not one of these injuries that will be treated the same. Your son or daughter at home is NOT the same as RGIII or Melissa Gilbert (Dancing with the Stars). We are talking about the adult, or fully developed brain of an elite athlete who gets paid to do what they do versus the still developing brain of an adolescent who may not yet be legal to drive a vehicle. This is in no stretch of the imagination an apples-to-apples comparison.
What’s disconcerting to me as a certified athletic trainer and a father of two Continue reading