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Can You Avoid a Concussion?

Can You Avoid a Concussion?

Sports-related concussions are frequently in the news, reflecting the near-epidemic proportions of the injuries at the professional level. Concussions are just as prevalent in amateur sports, and you can suffer a brain injury from falls or car accidents too. 

Since every concussion can have its own unique identity, treatment is not always straightforward. The best way to deal with concussions is to avoid them altogether. Choosing a practice like Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic can help you prepare for concussion-free sports participation. 

Concussion basics

Any impact, bump, or violent movement of your head can cause a concussion, a form of brain injury that can affect anyone of any age. Damage occurs when nerves and blood vessels become bruised or stretched by an injury, causing chemical changes that temporarily affect your normal brain function. 

A single mild concussion likely won’t cause any long-term damage, but repeated injuries or major brain traumas could result in permanent changes. While minor concussions most often feature headaches as a symptom that usually resolves within two weeks, you could suffer much longer, regardless of the severity of the original injury. 

People who play contact sports, even mild versions like soccer and touch football, carry a higher risk of concussion injuries. About 20% of high school students participating in such sports suffer concussions annually. 

You can receive a concussion through sports participation, falling, car accidents, or physical abuse. If you’ve previously had a concussion, you have a greater risk of reinjury. 

How to avoid concussions

Sports like football, with clear concussion risks, typically use protective equipment to minimize the effects of contact on your body. Using properly maintained equipment of the correct size goes a long way toward preventing head injuries. 

Helmets are the most obvious protective gear, and each sport has an optimal design to prevent the most common types of injury connected with its activities. When you have a choice, use the headgear designed for your sport, such as a bicycle helmet for cycling, batting helmets and catchers’ masks for baseball, as well as sport-specific helmets for hockey and football. 

Ensure that your sports leagues have concussion protocols in place. Most sports concussions originate from player-on-player contact, and some games have a culture of playing hurt. Be sure you understand the proper steps to take after an incident that could result in brain injury, no matter how mild. 

Wearing seat belts at all times when you’re driving or riding in a motor vehicle minimizes your concussion risk from car accidents. Safety bars and gates are easy to add to most homes to minimize the chance of falls for infants or elderly family members. 

Speaking with a sports medicine specialist can help you with other ways to avoid concussions. Contact one of our three locations of Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic to consult with a doctor about concussion prevention or treatment. Every concussion is serious. Protect yourself by making an appointment today. 

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