Concussion In Sports

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Sports related concussion (concussion) has gained attention as a growing public health concern. While a popular topic of study, researchers and clinicians have yet to reach consensus on concussion definition, assessment, diagnosis, and management. The International Concussion in Sport Group (CISG) defines concussion as a brain injury caused by direct or indirect biomechanical impact resulting in linear or rotational force being translated onto the brain (MCCRORY). Injury may or may not result in loss of consciousness but is normally identified by a common set of signs and symptoms that may be accompanied by impairments in cognitive and motor function. While traditional neuroimaging techniques like computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance …show more content…
Injury rates are likely underreported, however, due to challenges related to injury recognition and appropriate diagnosis (MCCRAE 2004). With enhanced understanding of the injury itself comes a greater appreciation of potential burden these injuries may place on the public health system. The Canadian Federal/Provincial Territorial Working Group on Concussions in Sport (2015) reports that 39% of emergency room visits for sports-related head injuries in youth 10-18 years result in a confirmed concussion diagnosis and an additional 24% result in a suspected concussion diagnosis. Statistics from the United States paint a similar picture. The Centre for Disease Control estimates that concussions represent 5-9% of all sports-related injuries with 1.6-3.8 million concussions occurring annually. Taken together, injury rates in the United States result in an average 2.5 incidents per 10,000 athletic exposures (MARAR 2015). One study focusing on data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association highlights a 7% increase in concussion injury rates over a 16-year period (Hootman, Dick, & Agel, 2007). The Canadian government’s 2013 publication on Sport Participation reports on 2010 General Social Survey data (REF). Their analysis suggests that younger Canadians are most active in sport participation. Over half (54%) of Canadians between the ages of 15-19 and one-third (37%) of Canadians between the ages of 20-24 are regular participants of sporting activities. Concussions are more likely to occur during competition than practice (Gessel, Fields, Collins, Dick, & Comstock, 2007) and in higher-risk sports such as football, soccer, basketball, and hockey. Canadian injury rates from 2004-2014 report a 40% increase in head injuries acquired through participation in football, soccer and hockey activities when compared