Keeping Our Athletes Safe From Head Injuries

Head injuries, in-particular concussions, have become headline news in recent years. Head injuries can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and other long-term mental illnesses. Untreated head injuries cause problems with decision making, task completion, the processing of information, and other standard skills necessary to live a healthy life.

It is time to change the culture of head injuries in sports and start protecting/valuing the precious function of your head. If you, your kids, or your players have experienced any grade of a head injury, our physical therapy in Farmingdale, NY, can help provide treatment. We take sports injuries seriously and take every precautionary measure to not only heal your head injury but implement a strategy so they are avoided in the future.

Sports Focused Causes of Head Injuries

Football

Football breeds head injuries, is the leading cause of concussions in sports, and is widely known as one of the most violent sports due to its collisonary nature. The game is focused around viciously taking your opponent to the ground, with intentions of being violent and powerful. Helmet to helmet collisions are a large part of the dangers associated with the game because the helmet is the densest and hardest object on a football field. When the helmet is used with a high degree of force, the consequences can be extremely dangerous. Recently, rules have been implemented in the NFL and high school leagues where this type of hit is illegal and results in disqualification. To avoid this type of collision, players are advised to “bite the ball” which means to make the tackle with your helmet aimed at the ball, not the opponent’s helmet. Our physical therapy in Farmingdale, NY are experts in treating head injuries during the football season.

Soccer 

In soccer, there are only two main parts of the body used to play the sport, your feet, and your head. In soccer, the head is used to score about ⅛ of the time. When the ball makes contact with a players head, if hit sharp enough, rattles the brain and causes a concussion. But this is not the leading cause of head injuries in the sport. The leading cause of head injuries in soccer is when two players elevate to “head” the ball but end up colliding heads. This force is extremely dangerous to the brain and happens on average once every three games. With soccer being the second leading cause of head injuries in all of the sports behind football, players must play smarter and more cautious to avoid being a statistic.

Concussion Symptoms

If you are an athlete reading this, you should become extremely familiar with these symptoms and DO NOT hesitate to report them to your coach, as the consequences can be devastating:

  • Headache.

  • Dizziness.

  • Nausea.

  • Dazed vision.

  • Loss of consciousness.

  • Confusion.

It is important to note symptoms exceed this list and vary depending on the athlete and the magnitude of the injury. Our physical therapy in Farmingdale, NY will be able to diagnose your injury and seek proper treatment for your specific case.

Prevention Methods

Each sport has its competitive nature which makes some sports more dangerous than others. Although that is true, there are prevention methods athletes and trainers in all sports can follow to protect them from long term head injury consequences. They are:

  • Be honest – A sport is a game, your life is not. Be sure to report all of the symptoms and feelings you may be experiencing after a possible head injury, it can be the difference between moderate and critical injury.

  • Rest – Listen to what your body is telling you, over-exertion can also lead to detrimental consequences.

  • Rapid screening – Trainers must be on the lookout at each play in any sport. Even if there is a slight amount of head contact, whether it be football, soccer, lacrosse, or baseball, be sure to go through the proper protocol to keep your players safe.

  • Do not play when sick – When players are performing through a sickness, they are not fully invested in their safety.

  • Use functional equipment – Busted cleats, damaged helmets, and other equipment should never be worn on the field. They affect the overall preciseness of your head placement and can cause injuries

Physical Therapy in Farmingdale, NY

Our physical therapists have the expertise to be an instrumental part of your head injury recovery. No two concussions are the same and with our neurological and orthopedic evaluations, we will be able to pinpoint the degree of your injury and formulate a tailored recovery plan. Rehabilitation efforts may include some of the following:

Rest: Rest is essential for any recovery plan. Technology should be limited, the presence of light should be limited, and the use of the brain should be limited for optimal results. These efforts will allow the brain to restore function and this must happen before recovery is executed.

Muscle recovery: Following this rest period, which may last weeks depending on the severity of your injury, muscle weakness could be a resulting factor. Your therapist will locate the weak areas, tailor a workout plan, and be right by your side to execute the plan of action.

Reducing headaches: Your headaches will be monitored closely. Different stretches, technology machines, and massage therapies will be used to help ease your headaches.

If you are in need of physical therapy in Farmingdale, NY, Farmingdale PT East has a state-of-the-art facility that is ready to be the location of your recovery. Contact us today to begin your rehab at (516) 293-0565. Remember, sports are a game, your life is not!

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