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3 Posts tagged with the injuries tag

Concussion sheet.pdf


What is a Concussion?


Simply put, when you hit your head, your brain moves around and can bang against the inside of your skull. This can cause your brain to bruise or lead to tearing of blood vessels and injury to the nerves, resulting in a concussion – a temporary loss of normal brain function.


Concussions and other brain injuries are fairly common for athletes. According to a recent study, high school athletes in nine sports sustained an estimated 137,000 concussions during the 2007-2008 school year. High-impact sports such as football, boxing, lacrosse, soccer, basketball and hockey pose a higher risk of head injury, even with the use of protective headgear.


You don’t have to lose consciousness to have a concussion


So you’ve hit your head – but do you have a concussion? Here are some of the signs:


  • "Seeing stars" and feeling dazed, dizzy, or lightheaded
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision, unevenly sized pupils and sensitivity to light
  • Slurred speech or saying things that don't make sense
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions
  • Difficulty with coordination or balance
  • Feeling anxious or irritable for no apparent reason
  • Feeling overly tired
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness (if you don't know your name – there's a good chance you have a concussion).


The signs of concussion are not always recognized, which is why having an athletic trainer who is specifically trained to recognize concussions or a medical professional who is trained in concussion management is essential. They can assess your injury and determine if you have a concussion. Often baseline testing – when players are tested for neurological responses prior to the season – can be helpful in evaluating if you have a concussion.


Dangers of a Concussion:


Continuing to play or returning to activity too soon will put you at risk for serious injury – even if you feel fine. If your brain hasn't healed properly from a concussion and you get hit again (even if it's with less force), you can develop long-term disabilities or die.


You Have a Concussion, Now What?


First, stop playing. Don't return to play even if you feel fine – your brain needs time to heal. The amount of time you need to recover depends on how long the symptoms last. Healthy teens can usually resume normal activities within a few weeks, but each situation is different.



Your athletic trainer and/or doctor will determine how long you should sit out. Until then, it’s important to get plenty of rest for both your body and mind. Activities that require concentration and attention (like studying, test taking, or even playing videogames) may make the symptoms worse and delay recovery.


Preventing Concussions

Some accidents can not be avoided, but you can do a lot to prevent a concussion by taking simple precautions:


  • Wearing appropriate headgear and safety equipment.
  • Learn appropriate techniques. In sports like football, learn how to tackle without leading with your head, and in soccer, avoid heading the ball when it is kicked at high      velocity from close range.



Remember, most people with concussions recover just fine with appropriate treatment. But it's important to take proper steps if you suspect a concussion because it can be serious.

Concussion sheet.jpg



You can learn more about concussion safety by visiting the California Athletic Trainers’ Association website at or the Youth Sports Safety Alliance at California Assemblymembers Mary Hayashi and Jerry Hill have recently introduced legislation that would help protect youth athletes from catastrophic injuries. To see the bill and access sample letters of support to send to your legislators, visit

6,788 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: concussion, injuries, illness, youth_safety

The Gift of Pain

Posted by chadpeters Nov 16, 2008


My wife's friend recommended that I read a book with the above title by Dr Paul Brand, and felt so strongly about it she sent us the book. The book is about Dr. Brand's experience working with individuals with various conditions such as leprosy, diabetes, and congenital nerve disorders that lead to the absence of pain. Upon reading the first couple of chapters, my view of pain had evolved from pain being a nuisance to pain being a healthy part of being alive.



I have always thought of pain as a negative, imperfect part of the human body. I used to think and imagine what I could be capable of if I did not feel pain. I took this philosophy to my professional life as well, focusing on pain management rather than the cause of the pain.



When the yellow or red check engine light goes on in your car, do you disconnect the dash board so the light goes off and keep driving? No, you research what caused the light to go on and get the problem fixed. It is no different with pain in the body. Pain is our check engine light, and if we ignore it, more serious problems will develop. It is very important we determine the cause of pain so that we can remedy the problem early on. Pain is a warning signal for things like lack of flexibility, training without enough recovery, improper training, muscle imbalance, poor form, etc.



One of the coolest things about being an Athletic Trainer at a college is we are available on campus during practices and competition to address these small problems that can lead to big problems later on. Sure, we treat the big problems as well, but we treat them in such a way that we address the underlying problem so we can prevent future injuries.



So, if you are having pain, don't think of the pain as a negative thing, think of the pain as a warning light. Then get go see a health care professional, such as an Athletic Trainer, to determine the nature of the problem and how to fix the problem so you can get back to doing the activities you enjoy most.



1,648 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: pain, injuries, gift_of_pain

Millions watched in awe this summer as Michael Phelps swam into Olympic history, and eyes were glued to television sets around the world as gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson finished 1-2 in the All-Around competition.


But what price do these young athletes pay for their gold-medal performances?



As kids chase the glory of college scholarships, professional sports careers and even Olympic gold they are training like adults before their bodies are fully developed, leaving them at risk for injury.



Nowadays, it's common for children as young as 5-years-old to train intensively in one sport year-round, a phenomenon known as early specialization.



In order to be more competitive at a younger age kids are training harder, longer, and more often, but too much repetitive motion during the formative pre-teen and early teen years takes a toll on their developing bodies in the form of stress fractures, growth-plate trauma and other common overuse injuries. Incidences of these injuries have grown in the past decade as more young people participate, train and compete year-round on varsity, club and all-star teams - simultaneously.



And while Phelps' performance at the Olympics was remarkable, what no one saw were the 80,000 or more meters  (nearly 50 miles ) he swam each week in preparation for the games since he was 11-years-old. And of course, the world wasn't watching Liukin and Johnson train more than 5 hours a day, 6 days a week, through sickness and injury for over half of their lives (they are 18 and 16-years-old).



Choosing a specialization too soon can deprive young athletes from fully developing their fundamental motor skills and muscle groups that are not worked by their sport of choice. In extreme cases, early specialization leads to stunted growth, weakened bones and severe injuries - including some that may be irreversible.



Whether it is internal or external pressure, an attempt to meet expectations or be the best - competitive kids may hide their pain in order to keep playing or competing. The possibility of long-term affects should serve as a warning to parents of young athletes and their coaches to pay attention



The California Athletic Trainers Association offers the following tips to safeguard young athletes from overuse injuries:


  1. Play at the right age. Kids should be put into age-appropriate sports. The CATA recommends kids start playing organized sports no earlier than 6-years-old.

  2. Mix it up. The CATA suggests young athletes between the ages of five and 13 play multiple sports in a year to give their muscles and joints a break from playing the same sport repetitively. However, kids should not participate in more than one sport at one time. As they mature, if they want to specialize in a particular sport, they should progress safely into an intensive training regimen.

  3. Don't ignore pain. Encourage kids to listen to their bodies and speak up if they feel pain so that the problem can be addressed immediately before it worsens.

  4. Rest, rest, rest. It is important to take care of injuries as soon as they happen. Many overuse injuries, if caught early, can be healed with rest and time off from the sport.

  5. Get annual physicals. Young athletes should receive a pre-season physical every year to detect any potential or existing overuse injuries, along with any other health issues.

  6. Presence of on-site, qualified personnel. Kids should be coached by qualified personnel, and a certified athletic trainer should be on-site during school or other organized sports. As physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, athletic trainers can offer a range of services, including injury prevention, immediate evaluation and treatment, and rehabilitation to reduce the risk of serious injuries, as well as re-injury.


Sports are still a great way for kids to stay fit and learn self-discipline, however, the key to keeping young athletes injury-free is moderation and diversity.






1,677 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: injuries, pressure, overuse