Concussion Awareness for Young Athletes and Parents
As the calendar flips to September, students are getting back to school and more active. Hopefully, organized sports will start soon and they will be playing football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and running sports.
Athletes and parents need to fully understand that school-age athletes are suffering concussions at an accelerating rate. At Foresight Chiropractic Wellness Center, we believe it’s critical that parents, coaches and athletes understand how best to prevent, recognize and treat concussions. We recommend a 4-Step Plan:
1. Know the Signs and Symptoms
Concussions are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. A concussion can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. You cannot see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or can take days or weeks to appear and may include:
· Nausea or vomiting
· Balance problems
· Double or fuzzy vision
· Sensitivity to light or noise
· Feeling groggy, foggy or sluggish
· Concentration or memory problems
· Nervousness or anxiety
2. Seek Medical Attention at the First Sign of Symptoms
If an athlete is suspected as having sustained a concussion, implement the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommended 4-step action plan:
1. Remove the athlete from play. When in doubt, keep the athlete out of play.
2. Ensure the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for a concussion.
3. Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them a fact sheet on concussions.
4. Keep the athlete out of play until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for a concussion, says they are symptom-free and it’s okay to return.
3. Establish the Athlete’s Brain Health Baseline
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): “Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function, as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.”
Locally in the Phoenix area, Foresight Wellness is pioneering the use of the Clear Edge Brain Health Toolkit, which provides a suite of separate testing applications and questionnaires to efficiently measure subtle changes in balance and cognitive function objectively, quantitatively and reliably. The assessment should be a vital part of a young athlete’s preparation for playing sports.
4. Seek care from an Upper Cervical Chiropractic Specialist
Atlas Orthogonal upper cervical Chiropractic specialists focus on the alignment of the cervical spine, particularly the Atlas or C1 and the Axis or C2. Trauma to the head and body causes the spine to become misaligned adding stress to the nervous system. The Atlas and the Axis is important neurologically because the brainstem extends down to the Axis. Adjustments with an Atlas specialist is very precise and gentle. It is critically important for the health of the entire body and recovery of a concussion patient to have a spinal check up after any injuries. Ideally, the athlete will have a baseline assessment prior to playing.
For more information about Clear Edge Brain Testing, call Foresight Chiropractic Wellness Center at 480-325-6977. The Doctors at the Valley’s premier Wellness Center are Board Certified Atlas Orthogonal upper cervical specialist and Certified Advanced Muscle Integration Technique Practitioners who have been serving the athletes for over 21 years. Also available is BEMER Therapy and Low Level Cold Laser. Schedule your complimentary consultation and learn how to best prevent, recover, and excel.