Whatever the cause, concussion is a serious issue for ex-sportspeople. Currently, it is only recognised as a condition for which a player can be sidelined for longer than a month. However, a group of experts at the University of Cambridge believe this is far too short a period. In a paper entitled A proposal for a new classification of concussion, authors Dr. Peter White and Dr. Paul Moore argue that a period of at least 12 months is required to enable players to return to full participation, and the time should be extended to as much as 24 months.
As far as I can tell, when it comes to the head injury known as concussion, there is no definitive cut-off point after which a person is no longer susceptible to it. In other words, despite what you’ve heard, there’s no such thing as a “safe level” of head trauma.
For people involved in a sport or an activity in which head injuries are common, the risk of developing a long term neurological condition such as post-concussion syndrome is high. The consequences of head injury can be severe, with physical and mental impairments that can last for years or even the rest of your life.. Read more about will smith concussion and let us know what you think.
Stevie Ward, a former Leeds Rhinos player, believes concussion has altered his life.
“There was a lot of worry and sadness. When I stared at the phone screen, my eyes and brain began to burn.”
Former athletes and their families have been speaking to Radio 5 Live about how concussion has affected their lives.
It comes after a Parliamentary investigation found that sports organizations are “grading their own homework” when it comes to minimizing concussion in sports.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee of MPs concluded that the government and sports organizations must take immediate steps to address a long-term failure to decrease the dangers of brain damage in sport.
This is what past athletes have to say…
‘Prevent gamers from harming themselves.’
When rugby league player Stevie Ward, 27, was crushed in a pre-season friendly, he had just been appointed Leeds Rhinos captain.
He had another blow to the head two weeks later, resulting in stitches in his face.
“It was truly a horror show after that,” he added. “A lot of worry and sadness.” When I stared at the phone screen, my eyes and brain began to burn.
“That laid the groundwork for where I am today, 18 months later.” Still dealing with migraines, vehicle sickness, and sensitivity to screens and light, as well as heat.
“I’ve retired, quit playing, and I’m simply trying to get by and adjust to my new life.”
Rugby players thrive on danger and risk, Ward told 5 Live’s Nicky Campbell, therefore the mentality in contact sports has to alter to “rescue players from themselves.”
“Because we want to play a difficult, physical, demanding game,” he said, “there’s an even greater need for physicians, specialists, and medical officials to rescue you.”
Natalie Alleston, Stevie’s girlfriend, claimed the two games had totally altered their lives and that they could no longer make long-term commitments.
“We can attempt to put everything in order… Everything is susceptible to change based on how the symptoms manifest themselves on any given day.”
‘You’re going headfirst on ice at up to 80 mph,’ says the narrator.
Head injuries are “a given” with skeletons, according to Eleanor Furneaux.
Eleanor Furneaux is a former Great Britain skeleton athlete who was forced to retire at the age of 24 after suffering a concussion.
A small accident occurred in January 2018, while preparing for a race in Germany, and was followed the following day by a more severe accident.
Furneaux claimed she was always aware of the dangers of the sport and that this was not the first time she had had a concussion.
“It’s a given with skeleton. At speeds of up to 80 mph, you’re falling headfirst on ice “she said
“It’s one of those unwritten regulations you might run across at any time.”
She spoke before the committee, highlighting a lack of knowledge and understanding of concussion in sports.
She said that the issue is that athletes are so eager to compete that they would pretend to be well when they are not.
“You’ll go to any length to compete. You may knock your head, and if it’s up to you, you’ll say it’s no big deal… as long as it’s not too severe.”
Competitors learn how to game the system as well.
“You perform brain injury evaluations,” Furneaux said, “but the more you do them, the more you learn them.”
“You are aware of the questions that will be asked, and you must answer them on a daily basis… I believe that something should be done to jumble up the questions so that they cannot be memorized.”
‘I couldn’t recall any matches,’ she said.
Lenny Woodard, a former rugby player, is suffering from early-onset dementia.
Lenny Woodard is a former professional rugby player who played union for Wales and league for his nation. He was diagnosed with early onset dementia a few weeks ago.
He stated, “It did explain how I’d been feeling throughout the past five to ten years.”
“I could recollect matches from my childhood, but I couldn’t recall matches from the previous ten years.”
“I’d occasionally lose track of where I was in the middle of a phrase or a paragraph.
“I’ve burned meals and set the smoke alarms off a few times because I’ve left the stove on.”
“I had a feeling things wasn’t quite right.”
Woodard was hospitalized for concussion a few times during his playing days, including one when he was 16 and knocked out cold.
“I was well aware of and accepted the physical hazards… I had no idea I’d be diagnosed with early onset dementia in my mid-40s.”
Many individuals inside rugby, Woodard told 5 Live’s Adrian Chiles, have responsibility for transformation.
“In rugby, it’s part of the ethos to be a macho guy and remain on the field even if you’re injured. That has to change, in my opinion “he explained,
“I believe both players and parents who are watching their children play have a duty to refrain from yelling things like ‘kill him’ and promoting large-scale violence.
“I believe the medical personnel has an obligation to override the athlete since the player will want to continue on. Especially if there’s a monetary incentive involved.”
Woodard said he was pleased with the report’s conclusions.
He said, “What I want to see now is action.”
‘This is the first time it has been recognized.’
Monica Petrosino believes that the concussion report would result in “positive results.”
Monica Petrosino, a former member of Team GB’s ice hockey team, had to retire at the age of 24 after colliding with her head on the rink.
She said that throughout her early years in the sport, concussion was never addressed.
“It was actually during my last World Championships in 2019 that there were professionals present with information on concussion and were conducting pre- and post-game testing to monitor your levels,” she added.
She expressed her optimism that the report would result in “positive results.”
“This is the first time it’s been recognized, and recognition is the first step toward change,” she said.
‘We believed Bill was impregnable.’
Judith Gates and her husband, former footballer Bill Gates, who suffers from dementia.
Bill Gates was a football player for Middlesbrough in the 1970s and had a 30-year career.
He would head the ball hundreds of times each day throughout his career. He has been battling dementia in recent years.
His wife, Judith, has subsequently helped establish the Head For Change foundation, which seeks to raise awareness about brain health in sports and helps ex-players suffering from neurodegenerative disease as a consequence of sports-related head trauma.
She told Mobeen Azhar of 5 Live that she was glad that individuals “at the highest level” were finally talking about the risks of sports-related injuries, but that progress was still sluggish.
“In Bill’s day, the phrase’man up’ would have been the societal standard. I believe it is too optimistic to believe that the cultural norm is rapidly changing; I believe there is still a long way to go.
“One of the problems for football is that the consequences of sports-related brain injuries typically don’t show themselves until 20 or 30 years after playing, so you’ve got the delayed outcomes, which fuel the idea that ‘nothing will truly harm me,’ and the’man-up’ views persist.”
“What I’d tell younger guys is to take this head injury problem seriously, because we believed Bill was invincible, and now we know he isn’t,” he says.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do concussions affect athletes?
Concussions are caused by a sudden, violent impact to the head. This can be from an object or person and is often associated with a loss of consciousness. There is no known way to prevent concussions, but many athletes have taken measures to reduce their risk of concussion. These include wearing helmets during sports and avoiding contact with other players.
What is the most dangerous sport for concussions?
The most dangerous sport for concussions is ice hockey.
How can brain trauma in sporting injuries affect cognitive function?
Brain trauma can affect cognitive function in a number of ways. It can cause damage to the brain, which could lead to memory loss and dementia. It may also cause swelling or bleeding in the brain, which can lead to seizures or other neurological problems.
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