Concussions Create Problems

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Concussions Create Problems

Concussions in football are inevitable and impossible to prevent.

Concussions in football are inevitable and impossible to prevent.

Creative Commons

Concussions in football are inevitable and impossible to prevent.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Concussions in football are inevitable and impossible to prevent.

Matthew Basilio, Staff Writer

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Injuries have been rooted in sports for as long as anyone can remember. Sports like hockey, football and lacrosse are predominantly contact sports. Football yields the highest rate of concussions with a 76.8% compared to hockey and lacrosse rates of 46.6% and 54% respectively. Throughout the years, there have been a multitude of attempts at limiting and preventing concussions, but results have been mixed.

 

A concussion is a type of brain injury that stems from trauma, usually caused by a blow to the head that jars or shakes the brain. Not losing conscious does not mean a concussion was not developed. Symptoms of a concussion range from mild to severe, and can last from hours, days, weeks and sometimes even months. Some symptoms of a concussion include passing out, loss of memory before the injury and blackouts. Some people will recover within a few hours while others may take a few weeks to recover. In some rare cases, concussions can have long term damage. Repeated concussions or a very severe concussion can lead to problems with movement, learning or speaking.

 

Concussions come as a commonality when involved in professional sports.  Recently, there was a study conducted by Boston University, led by Dr. Ann Mckee, on the deceased tight end for the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez suffered the most severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) ever observed for a 27-year-old. An autopsy revealed that Hernandez had such a severe form of CTE that the damage was akin to players that were in their 60s. “There is a concern that we’re seeing accelerate[d] disease in young athletes,” said Mckee. “Whether or not that’s because they’re playing more aggressively or if they’re starting at younger ages. It happens inside the skull, It’s an intrinsic component of football.”

 

While concussions are prevalent in the professional league, they are also common amongst high school players. “After I got my concussion, everything felt hazy, like I was here, but I wasn’t,” said junior Tony Moreno. Despite all attempts to create more protective gear to prevent head injuries, the National Football League has acknowledged that no helmet could ever fully prevent concussions.

 

Whether or not a concussion is developed from a car accident or an injury during a sport, concussions can be very dangerous. There can possibly be problems with learning, movement, and speaking, and there is also a chance to develop a neurogenic disease, like CTE if there has been a substantial blow to the head. Rest is the best way to recover from a concussion; avoid alcohol and illegal drugs as well as physically or mentally taxing activities.

 

Most football players develop CTE at some point in their careers, while some have more severe cases than others. CTE can only be diagnosed post-mortem examination, so it is very hard to know whether or not an individual has developed CTE or not during a player’s lifetime. This makes it hard for researchers to discover the connections between sports and the development of CTE because there is a shortage of professional athletes that are deceased.

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