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Ask the PT: How do I prevent a concussion when playing sports?

Preventing Concussions

Concussions are a rapidly growing epidemic in sports and are not something that should be taken lightly at all. It can be seen especially in professional sports that concussions are taken very seriously, so this begs the question how do we help prevent concussions and how do we prevent them while playing sports? The answer may not be so clear-cut because concussions are not 100% preventable but there are some things that can be done to help avoid them.

The first thing that can be done to prevent concussions is to make sure you are wearing the proper equipment and wearing it the proper way. The most important piece of equipment that helps prevent concussions is the helmet, so when wearing a helmet it should be made sure that you always have your chinstrap closed at all times even during practice. One of the best preventative methods of concussions is to teach proper technique for playing sports, like tackling in football for example. Tackling in football is where majority of concussions in sports take place and it is most likely the result of poor technique that these concussions occur.

This is why it is important to hold seminars or classes by themselves on just strictly how to tackle correctly so this way everyone has the best chance of being safe. An example of this could be through a Pop Warner football league in Westchester, NY where setting aside a day totally separate of practice to discuss this topic would be extremely beneficial. When dealing with concussions, education is key, not only for players but also for the coaches. It is the coach’s’ job to realize that a player may have potentially suffered a concussion and should not go back on the field. This happens way too often that concussions go unnoticed and a player ends up being seriously injured when they shouldn’t have been on the field on the first place.

Everyday we are still learning about concussions and the results of them, but with constant research and education we can do our best to avoid them. Accidents do happen and sometimes concussions just can’t be avoided but following a few of these guidelines we can do our best to prevent them.

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