Concussions, the NFL and How it Affects us Regular People
An important topic has been brewing for many years now in smaller sports circles around the United States. This issue potentially affects every contact sport athlete anywhere in the world. It has become a huge topic for the National Football League (NFL). Many of you have followed the appearance and the now widespread concern for this topic. We are talking about “Concussions”
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of “concussion” is as follows:
- Pathology . injury to the brain or spinal cord due to jarring from a blow, fall, or the like.
- Shock caused by the impact of a collision, blow, etc
- The act of violently shaking or jarring.
Concussions are more common than they used to be in sports, especially football. The helmets are harder, the players are faster. They use their bodies as battering rams and do a lot of damage with each hit they put on an opposing player. Other sports like hockey, rugby, baseball, soccer and lacrosse have some concussion issues, but they are not as prevalent or as well publicized.
In Sunday morning’s Contra Costa Times, there was an article on the first page of the Sports Section Titled: “Junior Seau’s death a sobering wake up call, former NFL players say”. It is a powerful article that is very telling of the future for many of our children and adults who continue to participate in body contact sports. Take a moment to read it and think about it for a second.
Have there been other stories like this in the news? Yes. There have actually been an increasing frequency of these types of reports from past NFL players. Some of you who stay up on current events or read your sports magazines are aware that there is a lawsuit filed by over 100 former NFL players against the NFL claiming that they were not made aware they would be putting themselves at such risk to play the game they loved. You can bet that list of players on that lawsuit will grow as time goes on.
So how does this affect me or my family?
- I have grown up loving sports as much as the next person. I grew up watching the 49ers win and going to Giants and A’s games. I want you to think of this in terms of keeping things as safe for yourself and your children as you can. I have come up with a short list of tips I hope you will keep in mind in protecting people you love from head trauma and concussions:
- Wear the proper head protection. I remember as a child, I rode my bike and pretty much everything else without a helmet. It just was not thought of back then. Now, it is crucial. You must wear a helmet or protection specifically designed for your sport. This way, you get the correct thickness and protection that you need.
- Wear proper foot wear. You would be surprised how many players slip or fall due to improper shoes and hit their heads on the ground as a result. Get fitted for proper shoes. I recommend my patients to go to Fleet Feet in Pleasant Hill. I am friends with the owner, Kathy and Tracie and they do an amazing job fitting shoes for my patient’s feet.
- Consider wearing a mouthguard. The mouthguard will absorb shock from any hit to the mouth or chin. Otherwise this shock goes right to the head.
- If you are playing rough sports with any physical contact, have check ups or tune up with your Medical Professional on a regular basis. When you see your Doctor, they can keep tabs on your baseline vitals, physical signs and behavior. If there are any changes, your health care professional can quickly see any potential dangers and intervene on your behalf.
Health professionals can include: Medical Doctors, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Athletic Trainers, Personal/Sports trainers and many others. If you need any help with good professionals, just call me and ask. I can point you in the right direction.
As a Chiropractor for the last 15.5 years now, post-concussive patients walk in to my office hours to days after the incident has occurred. Aside from making sure they have seen their Medical Doctor for a comprehensive evaluation, I always check their head, cranial bones, neck and spine.
Please understand that after any type of physical injury or jostling of the head, their spine is thrown out of alignment. Please get yourself or your child to their Chiropractor and get adjusted. Remember, a lot of us use techniques that are quite gentle, yet effective for helping put the bones back into better alignment.
For more information, you can read: “Facts about Concussion and Brain Injury, Where to Get Help”. It is put out by the CDC and can help point you in the right direction
I hope you have found this blog post helpful. I would appreciate you clicking on this link to “Orinda Chiropractic Center” On Facebook and hitting the “Like” button so we can stay connected.
Thank you for reading!
Dr. Kevin M. Wong
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