[Source: Lash & Associates Blog]
by Phil Hossler, ATC
In today’s society, sports are more popular than probably ever imagined. Large numbers of athletes participate in a variety of youth, high school, collegiate, professional, and recreational sports. As sport becomes more of a ﬁxture in the lives of Americans, the burden of responsibility falls on the shoulders of the various organizations, coaches, parents, clinicians, ofﬁcials, and researchers to provide an environment that minimizes the risk of injury.(1) Kids can suffer concussions in sports but also in activities such as bike riding, skate boarding, recess, swimming, and backyard games.
A concussion is a brain injury that results in a temporary disruption of normal brain function. In the case of teens this is a double edged sword: brain tissue that is immature and developing should not suffer a “temporary dysfunction of normal brain function.” The co-occurrence of a maturing brain and brain injury can result in unforeseen future problems in mental functioning that cannot be predicted.
We all remember how emotionally and socially challenging the teen years can be. Add to that the addition of school, reading, video games, texting, and computer time. When a teen suffers a concussion, all of these activities must be examined and curtailed so as not to impede healing. This temporary change in lifestyle can put pressure and demands on family, school, relaxation, sports, and the teen’s “me” time.