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.
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