A concussion can occur during any activity or event that involves trauma to the head or body. Concussions happen during accidents in play, such as falls, or may occur in vehicle or biking accidents. Physical activities like skiing, snowboarding, or playing sports such as hockey, football or soccer can also result in mild traumatic brain injury.

With so many potential causes, it can be difficult to prevent concussions. It may be possible to reduce the number that do occur however, and to treat them effectively when they happen. In particular, taking steps to minimize the chances of a repeat or secondary concussion is extremely important.

Preventing Sports Related Concussions

Athletes should always wear helmets that are appropriate and properly fitted for the sport they’re playing. This means checking to make sure helmets fit well, and that players know how to wear them correctly. It’s also imperative that helmets are worn all the time, including during every practice session.

The head should never be used as a point of first contact during sports play, and ‘leading’ with the head should also be avoided. Players should be taught proper tackling techniques. Attention to exercise that strengthens neck muscles may also help prevent concussion to some extent.

Preventing Concussions During Physical Activities

Properly fitted, appropriate helmets should be worn at all times by everyone engaging in physical activities such as skiing, snowboarding, skating or skateboarding, or any other sport or exercise that involves a potential blow to the head. Good instruction in sports and physical exercise can help individuals learn to avoid injuries, too. Proper fall techniques, learning to avoid collisions, and playing safely within your skill level are additional ways to avoid injury to the head.

Preventing Concussions on the Road

Biking, motorcycling, snowmobiling and riding in motor vehicles may all present the chance of a head injury. Anyone on the road should wear a helmet or seat belt, and children should use an appropriate car seat, regardless of state or local laws. The helmet should be worn properly and it should fit. It’s also important not to wear helmets that have already been involved in an accident, or that have been dropped. This may render them ineffective as a means of preventing traumatic brain injury.

What to Do In Case of a Concussion

Symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, nausea, memory loss, or other observable signs may occur right away at the time of a concussion. Sometimes however they do not develop for several hours. Anytime a head injury occurs, it’s best to have it checked out by an appropriate medical care provider. Never risk a second injury by ignoring a head injury and returning to play.

A functional neurologist can provide concussion care that actually helps the brain recover from trauma and begin to heal. Proper support that involves comprehensive testing and a customized plan of care can help ensure the fullest, swiftest recovery from concussion possible.