Concussion, the 2015 movie starring Will Smith, showcased the
long term effects of multiple concussions suffered by athletes in high impact
sports, tying Boxing and Football together. This movie appeared on the silver
screen six years after the governor of Washington State signed the first law
requiring high school athletes to be removed from play and not to be allowed to
return until cleared by a medical profession.
The mounting public awareness of the effects of concussions means we now
have many resources online for preventing, diagnosing, and treating
A concussion is defined as a brain injury caused by a blow to the head
or a violent shaking of the head and body.
Whether a person experiences one concussion or many, it is generally
agreed that the fewer, the better.
Avoid concussions! Making
practical decisions to wear a seatbelt while driving, a helmet while in an open
air vehicle (bike, motor cycle, quad, etc.), and to use proper and well
maintained equipment is a first step to protecting our heads. We can avoid
concussions by being present, well rested, and better able to react to our
Diagnose a concussion. What
if, in spite of taking precautions, you took a blow to the head? Don’t just “walk
it off.” Let your friends and family
know and watch for symptoms like headache, memory impairment, confusing,
fatigue, sensitivity to sound and/or light, blurred vision, dizziness, or any
other atypical sensation. If you have symptoms, consult a professional.
Treat a concussion. Soon
after a blow, seek professional help to take the correct steps that will
minimize brain injury and improve healing.
Long after the brain has healed, there may be secondary injuries to the
skeletal system. The head is like a ball
on the end of a spinal chain. If the
head has been violently shaken, it stands to reason that the spine has also
taken some impact. For this reason,
follow up with a spinal specialist like a chiropractor. Left untreated, a spinal injury can lead to long-term
discomfort and disease.
Support decision makers. Here
in America, we are taking concussions more seriously than in the past, but our cultural
heritage encourages being tough and ignoring injuries. We need to be mindful of
this and support coaches, parents, managers, employees, and anyone else who
says they think there has been a concussion. When the stakes are high, stand
strong for an individual who may be injured. Call 911 if in doubt.
Here’s to a future of fewer concussions!
Bio: Martha de Forest is a dual degree engineer and certified
integrative hypnotherapist. She has been married for over 30 years and has
raised two daughters.
Signs and Symptoms of Concussion, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/symptoms.html
Concussion, the movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concussion_(2015_film)