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Posted on 08-07-2017

Concussion Care for St Louis Athletes

The St Louis high school and college football season is about to begin and now is the time to talk about the risks associated with concussions, also known as, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in youth sports. In the US, there are 3.8 million sports related TBI annually.

Professional athletes in all sports are walking away in the prime of their careers due traumatic brain injuries and the lasting effects of brain function deficits later in life. While a lot of attention is directed toward the professional and college athletes, at Vidan Family Chiropractic we are actually more concerned about the health of student athletes in our own community.

4 key points that you should know as a parent of a St Louis athlete:

  1. High school athletes are twice as likely to be concussed, in fact 1/5 of all high school athletes experience a concussion. 70% of these occur at practice where most organizations don’t have the means to staff medical personnel at all times, increasing the risk of immediate further injury. Open communication between you and your athlete is key to having them tell you when they were struck and possibly causing a TBI. 
  2. TBI have more than doubled among children. According to the CDC, from 2001 to 2012, the rate of emergency department visits for sports and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries, more than doubled among children (age 19 or younger). Once you have discovered the injury call your primary care physician or take your athlete to the emergency room. 
  3. Be on the lookout for a second TBI.  Football players who have a history of previous concussions are at a greater increased risk of experiencing future concussions as compared to athletes without a history of such impacts.  Even if the TBI happened months ago, be on the lookout for the possibility of having another TBI with less trauma.  Concussions (TBI) can occur without any impact to the head, and could be caused by a whipping motion of the neck.
  4. There has been a link to concussion and decrease in academic performance. When athletes suffer from a TBI their grades may suffer as well.  Early detection and treatment in the short and long term will help your athlete get back to studying at their maximal potential. 

Treatment options in St Louis MO can take a multi-pronged approach:

·         Chiropractic adjustments can restore function of the neck and sub-occipital region, which are often affected with a head injury that can result in headaches and neck pain/stiffness.  With proper specific adjustments, function can be restored to the spine and allow your athlete to heal more effectively. These specific adjustments can be the key in

·         Physical Rehabilitation to restore strength and balanced muscle function. Specific rehab exercises can be performed to allow the athlete to strengthen and stabilize muscles that may have been injured in the event causing the concussion.

·         Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitative stretching to retrain muscle groups and improve feedback to the brain (afferentation) can be done to help in the healing process.

It’s important to be evaluated after a concussion (TBI) as soon as possible.  Without proper management of the injury, they can be significant and have long term complications.  For this reason it is suggested that you find a doctor like Dr Vidan, that has experience in caring for these types of injuries.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2987636/

http://time.com/3852458/how-concussions-affect-school-grades/

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