Neck Strength and Concussion Prevention Exercises
Injuries are inevitable during any sport or activity. These injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to life threatening ones such as concussions. There are many different types of head trauma that can occur in sports, but there is one type of head trauma that most experts agree is the worst: a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).
A mTBI occurs when a person’s brain gets hit hard enough to cause damage, but not so hard that it causes death. A concussion is another term used to refer to a mild TBI.
The first thing that needs to be understood about concussions is they are very rare occurrences. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at Boston University, only 2% of all sports-related concussions result in long-term problems like memory loss or depression. But even if these numbers aren’t true, the fact remains that concussions do happen.
And since they are relatively uncommon, many athletes don’t get them diagnosed until after their careers have ended.
Athletes with a history of concussions often suffer from symptoms like headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and other physical complaints. They may also experience mood changes or emotional numbness. Other times they just feel completely disconnected from reality.
Fortunately, the vast majority of concussions are treatable and go away in time. Long-term consequences from head trauma are also highly unlikely as long as a patient receives proper medical attention after his concussion and then follows a period of rest and recovery. With that being said, it’s also important to remember that most concussions result in no permanent damage at all.
Regardless of how serious concussion symptoms are, it is vital that athletes immediately report any head injury to their coaches and medical professionals. This prevents further damage from occurring and allows for proper treatment plans to begin as soon as possible. Many concussed patients are forced to sit out from 4-12 weeks before they are allowed to return to physical activity again.
However, it’s important to remember that each concussion is different and requires a personalized treatment plan based on each patient’s specific needs.
Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent concussions from occurring. However, new technologies and research are being developed all the time that may one day provide a 100% effective way to prevent head injuries in sports. But until that day arrives, it is up to you as an athlete to take all concussion symptoms seriously and get yourself properly diagnosed by a medical professional as soon as possible.
The rest of this article will focus on the proper ways to prevent head trauma while playing soccer.
When it comes to preventing concussions in soccer, wearing proper safety gear is always a good idea. This includes things like football helmets, face guards, and shin guards. Fortunately, many soccer leagues and organizations have begun to require the use of these protective items, so if you play for a professional team you can likely rest assured that you will almost always be playing with the right equipment.
The next tip for preventing head injuries is vision training. This involves eye exercises that strengthen your eyes’ focusing abilities. This is particularly important for soccer players because the game requires a great deal of quick visual changes.
Although vision training isn’t as common as other methods of preventing head trauma, it can still provide a significant benefit to any player who practices it properly.
The last tip for preventing head injuries is something that you’ll need to apply to your entire body. And that is staying in shape. Studies have found that staying fit can drastically reduce the chances of concussion and other head injuries.
This is because a fitter body is better equipped to handle the physical stresses of sports-related activity. To read more about this, check out the Causes section of this article.
Soccer and Head Injuries: Returning to Play
If you have suffered a head injury of any kind, it is important that you follow your doctor’s specific instructions all the way through rehab and recovery. An incomplete recovery can cause setbacks or even permanent damage to the brain. That being said, it is also important that you do not rush your recovery.
Rushing head trauma recovery can also lead to serious consequences later on down the road such as post concussive syndrome. This is a condition in which a person suffers from a long list of concussion symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea. This syndrome can even lead to depression and other emotional conditions if left unchecked.
But if you take your time with recovery, these symptoms can be overcome and go away on their own over time. And that leads us to the final sections of this article: recovery and prevention.
Recovery and Prevention
Prevention of head trauma in soccer primarily involves taking the proper steps to avoid head injuries during games and practices. By now, you should already be aware of the guidelines for prevention: wear the right protective equipment, keep your eyes fixed on the ball at all times, don’t attempt to head the ball when it is hit at you at a high speed, etc. All of these guidelines are specific examples of the more general rule to avoid head contact whenever possible.
Because heading the ball is a common action that often results in head trauma, many groups and organizations have been working for some time to ban headers for children who are under a certain age. Although there is still some controversy over this issue, it is generally accepted that children under the age of 10 should not participate in soccer leagues that involve heading the ball.
This rule is not without its share of detractors, however. Many parents are unhappy with the ban, saying that no scientific evidence exists to prove that heading the ball is damaging to children under the age of 10. Others say that banning headers for children infringes on their rights to play the game however they want.
But despite these concerns, organizations such as US Soccer and the American Academy of Pediatrics support the ban and believe that too much head trauma can occur when children engage in heading the ball.
As for recovering from head injuries and concussion, your doctor will give you the final say on when you are cleared to return to play. It may require time spent in physical therapy or even wearing a protective helmet, but your doctor will work with you to ensure that you are ready to return to sports.
While it is important to follow your doctor’s advice on the matter, it is also important that you listen to your own body. Everyone heals at a different rate, and if you are feeling symptoms of a concussion or head injury, you should not play. This can be difficult, however, since many of the symptoms of head injuries, such as headaches and dizziness, are also common to other conditions.
This is why it is essential that if you think you may have a concussion, you visit a doctor who can properly diagnose what is wrong with you and clear you for play.
You should also avoid engaging in any physical activity that may potentially result in a head injury. While this may seem obvious, many athletes do not realize that certain actions can be dangerous. For example, playing sports like American football, boxing, or ice hockey can all result in head trauma if not performed correctly and can increase your chances of sustaining a concussion.
Even riding a bike or playing on a playground structure like a swing set or monkey bars can put you at risk.
In addition to medical help, there are many things that you can do to ensure a speedy recovery from a concussion. First and foremost, it is important to get enough rest. A good rule of thumb is to avoid excessive studying or other mentally draining activity for at least a week.
This includes video games, cell phones, and even TV. Staying away from these things will give your brain time to rest and recover.
As far as physical activity, doctors generally recommend a light exercise routine, such as going for a walk or light jog. This helps increase blood flow to your brain and speeds up the healing process. In addition, there are certain things you can do to relieve the symptoms of a concussion, such as taking a painkiller for headaches or getting enough sleep.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a head injury, it’s important to seek professional medical attention right away. There are a number of emergency numbers that you can reach out to in times of need. In the United States, call 911 for an ambulance in cases of serious injury or distress.
From outside the US, call your local emergency number. If you’re unable to reach an ambulance but need immediate medical attention, go to the nearest hospital. If the situation is not life-threatening, seek out a family physician or local walk-in clinic.
While concussions and head injuries can be frustrating and worrying, they are treatable with the right precautions and care. With the guidance of this article, you should now feel more confident in handling a concussion. Feel free to print this article or bookmark it for later so you can reference it at any time.
You also can seek guidance from other trusted websites such as medical sites or blogs. There are a number of concussion resources and support groups that you can join to meet people who are experiencing similar struggles. By interacting with these online communities, you’ll be able to find the help and support that you need and hopefully make some friends along the way.
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