EAGLE RIVER (KTUU) Concussions can occur in a wide range of sports, but injury to the brain can also happen from a car crash or even whip lash. Football is the most common sport for head injury concussions followed by hockey and soccer.
Concussion, what is it and how do you treat it is the topic of this week’s two your health.
“A concussion is a head injury, it’s trauma to the brain,” said Licensed Physical Therapist Chris Wilson of Ideal Motion Physical Therapy in Eagle River.
He also said signs and symptoms are different for each person.
“So your typical symptoms may be a headache, sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, double vision,” he said.
Side effects can be short or long term and can develop immediately or over the course of days or even weeks.
“If left untreated it can become a permanent injury, but probably the most important thing with treating a concussion is to avoid a second impact injury,” explained Wilson.
You can’t live in fear of getting a concussion, but you can take precautions.
“For example, helmets and helmet technology has come a long way in sports such as football hockey,” said Wilson.
During our interview, Wilson showed us different tests that are performed on patients to set a baseline. A way to measure cognitive function and visual acuity. Something many sport programs are now using to prescreen athletes.
“If we have that information when a person comes in following a concussion, we now have a benchmark to know what their normal’s are and we can work up to that,” said Wilson.
Whatever the treatment, the goal is always the same and that’s take precautions, keep athletes safe, so when they get back on the field, ice or playing surface, their head is in the game.
According to the CDC more than 3.8 million concussions happen in the U.S. each year with 5 to10 percent developing symptoms that last more than 6 weeks.