Identifying & Evaluating the Risk of Concussion
An uncommon cause of concussion involves an indirect blow where the force of the impact is spread up to the head from another area of the body, for instance, when a stationary rugby player is tackled from behind where the head is suddenly flicked back, some of the force of the tackle may pass through the brain, causing the player to suffer a concussion without receiving a direct blow to the head.
In a majority of cases, although cuts and bruises may be present on the affected individual’s head and/or face from the blow, many people whom experienced a concussion never lose consciousness. Because of this, coaches and sports physicians without the proper experience may not immediately suspect the presence of a concussion or they often assume these are not a cause for concern. Although the severity can vary, there is no such thing as a minor concussion. In fact, while a single concussion shouldn’t cause permanent damage, others could lead to permanent impairment or worse complications.
Prior studies support the concept best known as post-concussive vulnerability, which demonstrates how another blow to the head where the brain has already recovered from previous injury can cause worsening metabolic alterations within the cells. This indicates the importance of properly identifying a concussion as soon as possible to remove an injured athlete from the field of play and ensure another concussion doesn’t occur.
A concussion is a medical term used to describe a temporary alteration in the function of the brain, including a change of mental status and consciousness, due to a mechanical force or trauma. In simpler terms, a concussion is defined as an injury to the brain caused by a blow to the head, such as an uppercut in boxing or a clash of heads in football. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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