Concussions: the downfall of an athlete

Model of brain representing concussions.
Photo Credit: Flickr

Model of brain representing concussions. Photo Credit: Flickr

Abraham Davidson

Sports. Almost everyone loves them and for many young athletes they are a way of life. However, for many it can mean injuries, doctors visits and even the end of a possible career. Imagine going to a football game and playing a rival team only to get tackled too roughly. You got injured to the point that you get major headaches and you blackout? You regain consciousness and the medical sports doctor tells you that you have a concussion. He adds that you may need physical and mental rest.

A concussion is a brain injury caused by blunt force trauma to the head. Concussions can cause brain damage, seizures, memory and concentration problems, internal bleeding, coma, personality changes, headaches, dizziness,  excessive drowsiness, and even death. They cause a wide range of symptoms that can not only interfere with sports, but can interfere with school and your health. This injury can also cause difficulty with speaking and having focus in your daily activities. 

Concussions often happen in sports. In football, helmet-to-helmet contact is one of the most common ways to get a concussion. It can cause the head to whip back and causes the brain to crash into the skull. UACHS, Senior and Dickinson football player, Ramon Tejeda talks about how he feels about concussions. 

“I think concussions are dangerous and spontaneous,” said Tejeda. “I feel like players when they undergo a concussion try to hide it so they can get more playing time.”

Many players try to play through such an injury and it can lead to further injury.

 “It can majorly affect your health and after a concussion your brain doesn’t function the same even though you might recover,” said Tejeda. “You can still get dizzy even if you’re cleared to play, it doesn’t mean that the symptoms aren’t going to still affect you later on.” 

According to the CDC, “if you get more than one concussion within the same time frame or months separated it can cause more symptoms, a long recovery, and brain and nerve damage which could possibly lead to you becoming paralyzed or dead.” 

Concussions can also happen in basketball. An example is when a player hits their head hard on the gym floor or head to head contact happens. It can also happen with an elbow to the head or shoulder to the head.

  UACHS Physical Education teacher and football coach, Alfred Dobson has two takes on concussions.  

“I feel like concussions are an unfortunate part of the game and the guy who came up with things like, crack back blocks and all those things were legal,” said Dobson. “We all know what we signed up for in this sport and as a coach, I want to make sure all my players get out of the games safe.”   

If you are playing a sport and have suffered an accident that involves your head region there are symptoms that help determine if you are experiencing a concussion. If you are dizzy, find it hard to stand and speak or have vision problems you may have a concussion. You should seek medical attention or have your teammates contact your coach right away. It can mean the difference between playing or sitting on the sidelines.