Video narrated by Concussion Legacy Foundation CEO Dr. Chris Nowinski
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Rapid movement causes brain tissue to change shape, which can stretch and damage brain cells. This damage also causes chemical and metabolic changes within the brain cells, making it more difficult for cells to function and communicate. Since the brain is the body’s control center, the effects of a concussion can be far-reaching.
Concussions are usually not life-threatening, but the effects of a concussion can change a life and the injury should be treated seriously.
The CDC estimates as many as 3.8 million concussions occur in the U.S. annually through sports and recreational activities, however only a fraction are recognized by athletes, coaches, parents, and are treated by medical professionals.
Concussions can occur in any sport, during practice or competition. In fact, according to a 2019 study by the Journal of Pediatrics, 36% of all diagnosed high school sport concussions occurred during practice, with Cheerleading being the only sport with a higher rate during practice than competition.
Teenagers are especially vulnerable to concussion. A 2017 survey of teenagers by the CDC found that 2.5 million teenagers experienced a concussion in a sport or recreational activity, and 1 million teenagers reported two concussions in the previous year.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion are incredibly important because a concussion doesn’t show up on imaging like an x-ray, CT, or MRI scan and there is no objective test, like a blood or saliva test, that can determine if a patient has a concussion. A doctor makes a concussion diagnosis based on the results of a comprehensive examination, which includes observing signs of concussion and patients reporting symptoms of concussion appearing after an impact to the head or body. Concussion signs and symptoms are the brain’s way of showing it is injured and not functioning normally.
Concussion signs are what someone could observe about you to determine if you have a concussion. Signs of a concussion range from obvious to much more nuanced, but even one sign of a concussion after a hit to the head should be reported to a medical professional.
Common concussion signs include:
Concussion symptoms are what someone who is concussed will tell you that they are experiencing. Concussion symptoms typically fall into four major categories:
1- Somatic (Physical) Symptoms
2- Cognitive Symptoms
3- Sleep Symptoms
4- Emotional Symptoms
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of concussion signs and symptoms, and it may take a few days for concussion symptoms to appear after the initial injury.
If you suspect a concussion in an athlete, it is extremely important to remove that athlete from play immediately so they can be evaluated by a trained professional. A 2018 University of Florida study found that college athletes across 18 sports who ceased activity once they were injured missed three fewer days of competition than those who delayed reporting. Additionally, immediate removal from activity reduced concussion symptoms by about two days and decreased the likelihood of missing more than two weeks of participation by 39 percent.
After removal from play, doctors recommend physical and cognitive rest for a few days following a concussion, or until you see a medical professional. Hear from Dr. Robert Cantu, medical director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, about why the brain needs rest after it has been injured:
2022 Youth Football Signups
The Missouri Wolverines Youth Football Club in Kansas City Missouri is accepting signups for players for any player looking to play youth tackle tackle or flag football in Kansas City Missouri. Current and New Players are encouraged to sign up online via our online registration portal where they can also pay for football fees as well.
Off-Season Football Training
At Kansas City Athlete Training located in Kansas City Missouri, experienced as well as beginner youth football players can work on improving during the offseason by attending one or several Football Specific Training Classes to improve their techniques as well as get in shape by attending Speed and Agility Sports Performance Training including Middle School Weightlifting. The Missouri Wolverines Youth Football Program highly recommends all current, new and/or interested football players looking to join the Missouri Wolverines Youth Football Program to attend classes leading up to the fall season. Kansas City Athlete Training has provided training for all sports via speed and agility classes and weightlifting classes plus football training for every position on the field including 1-on-1 personal training since 2005.