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Get your head in the Game (Definition)

Although professional football players are aware of the dangers of playing the game, they still continue to play. It’s a lifestyle for them. Today the game of football has grown to be much more physical and aggressive than in the past. Players of young age are coming into the league much bigger, stronger, and faster than your average veteran. It’s like a new generation of football. With that being said more injuries to the head are being reported and more players are in need of time off because of them.

A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury that affects how your brain functions. These effects can be short-term, lasting only a few hours or a couple of days, or cause long-term problems (Utah Health, 2016). When players trade blows to the head it causes the head and brain to move back and forward rapidly causing the brain to hit the skull and twist. It damages the delicate cells and structures inside the brain which can cause physical and chemical changes in your brain to affect how it functions.

 

Approximately 300,000 sport-related concussions occur in the United States annually, and the likelihood of serious injury may increase with repeated head injury (NCAA Concussion Study, 2003). A prospective cohort study of incident and recurrent concussions in a defined group of collegiate athletes was taken place for 3 football seasons, a total of 2,905 players were studied.

 

The study resulted in 196 reported concussions among 184 players. Of the 196 incident concussions, 94 were included in the assessment group. The overall rate of incident concussion was 0.81 per 1000 athlete exposures. The rate in Division III was also higher than the rates in Divisions I and II (NCAA Concussion Study, 2003).

 

If serious, concussions may also cause headache, a temporary loss of consciousness, feeling as if your brain is in a fog, delayed response to questions, dizziness, ringing in your ears, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light and sound (Utah Health, 2016). Concussions have an effect on the human brain that is unlike any other injury. Those involved in sports that engage in the most contact are more likely to suffer from injuries such as a concussion. Players who have experienced a concussion for themselves are sometimes hesitant about going back on the field to potentially relive the horror moment that put them out of the game in the first place.

 

Concussions can also have long-term effects on an individual. Some symptoms of a concussion develop hours or even days after the traumatic brain injury. Although, most people that suffer from a concussion only see short-term effects there are cases where people have to suffer long-term. Long-term effects of a concussion can include trouble concentrating, memory problems, irritability and other personality changes, sensitivity to light and noise, sleep disturbances, depression and other psychological problems, and disorders of smell and taste (Utah Health, 2016). Some people even suffer from post-concussion syndrome, which is where they seem to still experience symptoms even after it has been six weeks since the injury has occured. What some may fail to realize is that, the more concussions a person has than the more long-term effects an individual may suffer from. This can also occur if one rushes into returning to the same activity that landed them with the concussion itself in the first place (football) without letting their brain fully heal. It is important to let your brain heal to the fullest, because one wrong move can potentially set that person back even further than before.  

Concussions: How They Can Affect You Now and Later  . (n.d.). Retrieved from https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2016/11/concussion.php

 

Guskiewicz, K. M., & ATC. (2003, November 19). Cumulative Effects Associated With Recurrent Concussion in Collegiate Football Players. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/197667

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