Concussion in Football: The Myths and Facts You Should Know
While football players are well aware of the fact that concussions are frequent in their sport, most non-footballers will be surprised to hear this. In fact, football is the sport with the most concussions for women, and it’s among the top five concussion-causing sports for men. This is true even though football is not a contact sport like American football or rugby.
So, what can we do with this information?
For one thing, it’s important that footballers know why concussions can be dangerous. Even though most players understand that concussions are a risk in their sport, it’s not as common for them to know why they should avoid getting a concussion at all costs. An increasing amount of research is being done on this issue, but at this time, we know for sure that concussions — even those that occur without the individual losing consciousness — can cause long-term damage, especially to the brain.
Up ahead, we’ve outlined several additional facts that players and non-players alike should know about concussions in football. Read on to separate the myths from the facts.
Concussion in Football: Myths Vs. Facts
Myth: A concussion always means that you hit your head directly.
While many concussions are a direct result of hitting your head (falling and hitting your head on the ground, headbutting something, having something like a ball fly at and hit your head), this isn’t always the case. Concussions can occur even if you haven’t hit your head directly onto anything or anyone.
For example, if you are in the car as a passenger and the driver has to stop all of a sudden from a relatively high speed, you may experience whiplash. This experience of your head whipping back and forth at an extremely fast rate can cause a concussion – even though your head won’t have actually been hit by anything.
Myth: If a blow or fall didn’t knock you out, then you don’t have to worry about a concussion.
Contrary to popular belief, not all concussions involve being knocked out completely. You can still have a concussion even if you don’t lose consciousness. In fact, this is true for roughly 90% of concussions.
Myth: “I don’t have many of the most common symptoms of a concussion, so that means I don’t have one.”
There is a great range of classic concussion symptoms, and they’re not always obvious. Furthermore, not everyone experiences all of the symptoms. Therefore, even if you have just a few symptoms but you did experience a head injury, it’s always a good idea to get yourself checked out.
Myth: American football is the only sport you should really worry about when it comes to concussions.
It is true that American football is notorious for causing concussions, but this isn’t the only sport that can be dangerous in this regard. In fact, UK football ranks relatively high when it comes to the concussion rate. Moreover, other sports such as basketball, bicycling, and even playing on the playground can also cause concussions.
Recovering From a Concussion in Football
Despite your best efforts, if you play football, there’s always a chance that you may experience a concussion. If this happens to you, remember that it is important to seek treatment right away.
If you’re on the field and in the middle of a game when it happens, it’s still important to get yourself out of the game and in the care of a medical professional. From there, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations closely and to give yourself adequate time to recuperate. In addition, concussion patients should stay active with mild exercise, carry out special neck stretches created for the treatment of concussions, and above all, have patience. Jumping right back into playing football too soon could result in further damage.
Finally, remember that if you’ve experienced a concussion and it’s been several weeks but the symptoms still haven’t gone away, it’s important to speak to your healthcare provider. There is always hope for treatment, even if it’s been a long time since your concussion. Just be sure to take action as soon as possible.