The end of summer and beginning of fall marks a time when physicians and athletic trainers begin to see a rise in concussions from athletes competing in both soccer and football. Though the football-concussion link is well-known, soccer also carries a significant risk for athletes.
In soccer, concussions are often the result of head-to-head contact or head-to-ground contact after an awkward fall. With players constantly leaping into the air to compete for lofted balls, it’s not surprising that these types of concussions regularly occur. Michael O’Brien, MD, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital, details the updated protocols for return to play after concussion and what physicians and trainers should be aware of during the soccer season.
The 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport was recently held in Berlin, Germany. The purpose of the conference was to bring together physicians and researchers from around the globe in order to enhance understanding of sport-related concussions and how they’re treated.
One of the accomplishments of the conference was a shift in the international concussion return to play guidelines. The shift was based on scientific consensus from multiple institutions.
Most children will fully recover from a concussion within a few days, but many will have prolonged symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after their injury. This is known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
A 2011 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that dizziness, the second most common symptom of PCS (headache is first) is the only on-field symptom of sports-related concussion predictive of PCS. The study also noted that high-school football players who experienced dizziness at the time they sustained their concussions were six times as likely to develop PCS as those who did not feel dizzy at the time of injury.
What is it about dizziness that is unique in concussion? …Read More
Approximately 300,000 high school athletes are diagnosed with concussion annually, and managing their return to school and sports can present a challenge for the primary care provider. Some physicians recommend cognitive rest, while others don’t, and data supporting either approach have been scant.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a clinical report titled “Return to Learning Following a Concussion” at its annual meeting in October 2013. Designed to provide guidance to physicians caring for adolescents after concussion, the report emphasizes relative cognitive rest — minimizing digital exposure and temporarily making adjustments in studying intensity — and a gradual return to full participation in the classroom. …Read More