Football is a tradition here in the south for many reasons. Some love the game because they grew up playing it; others love it because they like to analyze the schematics behind each play, and then there’s the people who can’t get enough of those surprise hits.
While I am guilty as charged in regards to the latter, I admit that sometimes players go overboard when attempting to tackle, particularly when they lead with their helmet. Sometimes the player doing the tackling suffers an injury, and sometimes the player being tackled suffers an injury. Besides orthopedic mishaps, one of the most common injuries sustained by a football player is a concussion. So whether you just want to know more about concussions or you have a child or loved one that plays this game, let’s review what a concussion is, symptoms and treatment options.
A concussion is one of many types of TBI’s (traumatic brain injuries) that can occur when someone’s brain is basically shaken inside their skull. Although most football helmets offer several different types of padding, the brain can still be shaken inside the skull when a player hits the ground hard, or is hit directly in the helmet area. Symptoms of a concussion can be very subtle, but more often than not a person will experience a mild to severe headache, foggy or blurred vision, vomiting or loss of consciousness. If you are with someone who has hit their head and suspect a concussion, look for these symptoms and have them checked out by a medical doctor; remember it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.
Treatment for mild concussions is usually just to rest and take it easy. This is not as easy as it seems for most football players because of the competitive drive they have, but it is nonetheless in their best interest. A doctor may suggest an over-the-counter medication to help with headaches, as well as drinking plenty of fluids.
If you have a child or loved one who plays this fun, ever-popular sport, please remember to always be on the lookout for any adverse behavior they may exhibit after an especially hard hit. Worrying too much about potential injuries can easily take the fun out of the sport, but on the other hand, it’s always good to be aware of what could happen.
For more information on concussions, the symptoms of concussions or what you or your family can do to prevent them, check out the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at ninds.nih.gov or talk with your family doctor.
Justin Glaze is an LPN and contributing columnist for the Walker County Messenger. He can be reached at 678-988-1011 or email@example.com.