Kids love their sports for many reasons… The skills, both social and physical, learned through team and individual sports are great character builders and allow for camaraderie and a healthy outlet of energy and competitive nature. As kids get more and more skilled in their respective sports, the games get faster and the hits get harder. This has led to more excitement on the field and court, but also a higher opportunity for injury.
Concussions have become front and center in the sports injury debate and for good reason. In the US today, approximately 8,000 children are treated each day in emergency rooms for sports-related injuries. Sixty-two percent of those occur during practice, and somewhat shocking, only 42% of high schools have access to athletic training services. Concussions make up a large percent of these injuries; over 400,000 concussions occurred in high school athletics. In fact, concussion rates more than doubled over a ten year period among 8-19 year old students, while participation in those sports actually declined.
While football still leads in the concussion rate for student athletes, soccer is very close behind. Tens of thousands of kids playing soccer get concussions each year, largely due to hitting the ball with their head. New rules are changing the landscape of childrens’ athletics. Going forward, children under 10 will no longer be allowed to head the ball at all; kids 11-13 will head the ball much less in practice and players 14 and over will continue heading the ball as always.
While we typically think of concussions as being the result of a hard hit to the head, or even someone being knocked unconscious, concussions can also happen as the result of less severe looking injuries, including even a relatively minor head injury. Therefore it is imperative to know the signs. Some symptoms of concussions include:
- mild to moderate headache
- nausea or vomiting
- change in mood
- ringing in the ears
- short-term loss of newly learned skills
- changes in sleeping pattern
- dizziness, drowsiness of loss of balance
While most concussions are mild, any form of concussion takes time to heal and it is imperative that children get the time to rest. If children return to school and activities and begin to experience symptoms such as headaches, it should be seen as a sign that they should take a break and gradually work up to pre-concussion activity levels. Once a concussion has been diagnosed, one avenue of treatment is Chiropractic Neurology, which promotes new connections in the areas of the brain that have been affected by the concussion. Using simple, yet effective diagnostic techniques, your Chiropractic Neurologist will explore brain function and their connections, allowing the formulation of a treatment plan that is individualized for each patients’ needs. This personalized care provides a thorough and many times, fast-acting, form of treatment, ultimately returning one to the optimum state of well-being.
Have you experienced the symptoms of a concussion or have a child who has been diagnosed with a sports injury including concussion? Chiropractic Neurology may be the right treatment plan for you. For a consultation and to learn more about how we can help, please contact Dr. Marc Ellis and his team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.