Tag Archives: concussion

Playing Injured: Not a Tough Call

Playing Injured: Not a Tough Call

Playing Injured: Not a Tough Call

Did you know that many NFL players risk their health by playing through injuries? Tough or not, their desire to stay on the field is so strong that it can sometimes overshadow their pain. The nature of this sport fosters high pain tolerance and quick recovery, but athletes shouldn’t always “suck it up,” as it increases their chances of re-injury or re-aggravation.

With playoffs approaching, it is important to look out for these four common football-related injuries and encourage players to seek proper treatment:

ACL/MCL/PCL/LCL tears – anterior cruciate, medial collateral, posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments are all located in the knee. Each serves a different purpose to the function of the knee. Depending on the area of impact, front, rear or side, these ligaments can be damaged or torn. These tears are dangerous because of their high pain level and long-term healing time. Tears can also affect a player’s long-term ability to play.

Concussions – Even though players wear helmets, concussions can still occur. Concussions are the result of a traumatic hit to the head and can have serious effects on the player. When in doubt, players should take the bench and seek medical attention.

Shoulder injuries – While shoulder pads are designed to absorb the shock of tackles, injury can still occur. Common shoulder injuries are: shoulder separation/ dislocation and shoulder tendonitis. If a player takes a direct blow below the shoulder, it can cause separation of the acromioclavicular joint. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus detaches from the scapula. Shoulder tendonitis occurs due to overuse from throwing.

Ankle/Foot injuries – The most common sports injury is a sprained ankle. Ankle sprains and strains are caused by soft tissue damage from pivoting, changing direction or applying pressure to the joint.

Reality check: the longer an injury is played on, the longer it takes to retrain the muscle. If you’re injured while playing a sport, please make an appointment with one of our sports medicine orthopedics – Call: 251-410-3600 

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“Just” A Headache? Maybe Not.

Concussions: “When in doubt, sit them out.”

An estimated 300,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries occur in the United States each year. 63,000 of these injuries occur at the high school level. Football causes 63% of these injuries, and girls’ soccer is the second leading cause. Most of these types of head injuries recover within a week, but some can take a month or longer to recover. However, unfortunately, there are still approximately 900 deaths a year from sports-related traumatic brain injuries (concussions).

So, what can be done to decrease these numbers? Makes sure athletes, coaches, and parents know the signs and symptoms of concussion. Athletes should be encouraged to speak with someone (teammate, parents, coaches or healthcare professional, etc.) if they “don’t feel right” after a hard hit to the head. If at all possible, make sure your school has a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) present at games and practices. ATCs are trained to recognize, evaluate, and treat athletes who show signs and symptoms of concussions. They work closely with the team physician to get athletes the care they need quickly and to keep them safe. They will also work with the treating and/or team physician, coaches, parents and athlete to transition them back into the game once their symptoms have resolved and have been cleared by the physician. If your school does not have an ATC, make sure the coaches follow the general guideline, “When in doubt, sit them out.”

March is Alabama Brain Injury Awareness Month and National Athletic Training Month.

For more head injury information, please go to nata.org or alabamabraininjuryawareness.org

Click here for more information about Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic, P.C.

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