Biomechanics: The Role Of Concussions In Sports

Decent Essays
In medical terms, concussions are described as "a complex pathophysiologic process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces" (Hunt, Paniccia, Reed, & Keightley, 2016, p. 749). Over the past couple of years, the number of concussions in athletics has increased drastically. According to the data released by the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, in the school year 2005-06 there were 133,000 concussions, which was much less than the recent data of the 2014-15 school year of 292,000 (Brzycki, 2016, p. 57). Not only are concussions becoming more prominent, but they accounted for 24.5% of all the injuries in 2014-15 (Brzycki, 2016, p. 57). Although many advances in concussion protocol have been…show more content…
Specifically, the rule that “a student athlete suspected of having a concussion is required to be pulled from a game, examined by a doctor and receive written permission to return to practice or a game,” because in rural areas getting to a doctor may not be as easy as compared to a urban area (Simpson, & Crane, 2011, Opposing view: Risk shouldn't be legislated). Another argument they present is that concussions are only estimated for a tiny fraction of injuries in high school sports and improving safety equipment is reducing the numbers even more. They end with describing a situation in New York, when state health officials tried to classify common physical education and summer camp games like wiffle ball, kickball and tag as a "significant risk of injury" (Simpson, & Crane, 2011, Opposing view: Risk shouldn't be legislated). Simpson and Crane’s said, “this move would have required summer camps to pay a fee and have medical equipment and staff on hand to treat possible injuries.” Perhaps Simpson and Crane have valid arguments, but professionals still suggest an enhanced protocol to be put in place (Simpson, & Crane, 2011, Opposing view: Risk shouldn't be…show more content…
In baseline testing, an athlete goes through combination of neuropsychological and physical tests at the beginning of the season and the results are saved for when the athlete presents symptoms of a concussion (Is baseline testing for concussions worth it for your kids, 2016). Researchers say that these tests are vital for physicians or trainers in making a decision for when the athlete is released to play, because MRI and CT Scans do not spot concussions and even if symptoms subside, the athlete can still be suffering from a concussion. Dr. Cameron Marshall, a strong supporter of baseline testing, says, “It just comes down to, how are you going to manage [potential concussion cases] without having some objectivity? I still get a lot of patients coming in without a baseline. It makes the return-to-play decision a little bit harder. You can still manage it, I just don't think it's as effective as having that tool. I feel a lot more comfortable in clearing somebody when I have some test, and not just any test” (Is baseline testing for concussions worth it for your kids, 2016). If leagues and schools do not offer the test, there are free testing facilities offered or some baseline tests can be taken for $60-$100, a small price to pay for a child’s safety and well-being. Making these baseline tests a part of the new concussion protocol can help better diagnose, treat, and
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