Pun completely intended. I apologize for nothing.
In the last ten years, the amount of knowledge of the signs, symptoms, and repercussions of concussions has increased dramatically. This past week there were two huge developments in the prevention and care for concussions in youth athletes in the state of Wisconsin: the introduction of the HeadStrong Concussion Insurance Program and the release of the 5th edition of the Concussion Recognition Tool (CRT5).
Before I get into the specifics of what these mean for you and/or your student athlete, a brief review on what a concussion is. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a concussion is defined as “an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function.” Usually this type of injury is related to an impact to the head that results in trauma to the brain and brainstem. Common symptoms are dizziness, temporary memory loss, blurry vision, headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea. More severe symptoms may include vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizures, and drastic change in personality.
Usually, concussion symptoms can be managed with removal from activity and treatment of the symptoms while the brain recovers. This is where many professionals such as athletic trainers, chiropractors, and physical therapists can be very beneficial to monitor an athlete’s progress towards getting back on the field. However, in extreme circumstances, neurological consultations are necessary to rule out whether there is more serious damage. Parents often have worried about what the cost would be for that type of care. Thankfully, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has made a move to let them breathe easier. Every WIAA student athlete will be covered by an insurance policy to assist families with the cost of evaluation and treatment of concussions. Hopefully, this will help get the care that the need without the fear of the price tag.
With the release of the CRT5, parents and coaches now have an easy, up-to-date tool to help identify the signs of a concussion. There are also some brief protocols on how to manage it at the onset of the injury. However, this is meant as a precaution to assess whether an athlete may be at risk of receiving a concussion. Athletes who are suspected of sustaining a concussion should be assessed by a medical professional before they are allowed to return to play.
New research, protocols, and treatments for concussions are coming out each year in order to assist athletes. They also try to prevent long term repercussions that could result from mistreatment.
If you would like more information on the CRT5 and the HeadStrong Concussion Insurance Program, check the links below.
If you’re a parent, coach, or player and would like more information about injury prevention, please contact us at (414)332-6001 or visit us at goodyearhealth.com. See if we can help!
- 1) http://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/high-schools/2017/04/25/wiaa-offer-concussion-insurance-all-its-athletes/100862874/
- 2) http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/04/26/bjsports-2017-097508