Concussions occur when there is a hit to the head, and the brain shakes inside the skull. The risks are tremendous, even the slightest hit could cause a concussion. This head injury can cause severe brain damage and have a long term effect on somebody’s life. Knowing the symptoms and how to treat a concussion is extremely important because the rate of concussions in competitive sports has doubled.
Dr. Sourav Poddar is the CU football team physician and the head medical doctor for the buffs. He works with athletes who have suffered from a concussion and not only diagnosis and evaluates athletes, but also management in sports related concussions and injuries.
CU football defenseman Ryan Moeller, experienced a hard hit to the head, and had to follow procedures and protocol to concussion recovery. He makes it clear that “Once you get into the next day where you can think a little clearer, you are only thinking about coming back as soon as you can. You don’t want to be out, you need the playing time, you need the film, there are so many things on the line like your starting spot.”
Even though getting back to the game is something the players are looking forward to, Dr. Poddar emphasizes that “if you go back too soon within this vulnerable window…you are at a much higher risk for a repeat concussion.”
Equipment may be a factor in helping reduce the severity of concussions, but cannot stop them altogether. CU football equipment manager, Nick Haber, explained the different parts of the football helmet. Haber said, “This one generally has air pockets and padding on the inside to really cousin in any hits to the head. There is a lot of specks in the inside just different materials that are geared at aiming to prevent head injuries. There is a lot of custom padding, there is different sizes, everyone is a little different so sizing plays a huge factor, and proper technique of tackling and using your head properly.”
Every year, helmet companies come out with new and improved helmets trying to prevent head injuries of any kind. However, no helmet or gear will 100% prevent concussions from happening.
For more information on concussions and football visit the National Institutes of Health.