Here in the Gunnison Valley we are fortunate to have the opportunity to
participate in countless outdoor recreation activities from skiing to
biking to kayaking. Unfortunately, those activities heighten the risk
for concussion, which cannot always be prevented. Concussions have been
described as one of the most challenging epidemics facing the athletic
population today. Did you know that, while vitally important in reducing
the risk for skull fracture and death, helmets do not necessarily decrease
the risk for concussion? If concussions can’t be avoided, and helmets
don’t necessarily prevent them, what can be done?
First and foremost, if you or your loved one sustain a concussion, it is
important to make sure it is managed properly. An athlete with a suspected
concussion should NOT be returned to play on the same day and should be
evaluated by his or her primary care provider. After evaluation and improvement
in symptoms, athletes should be guided through a graduated exercise progression
and re-evaluated by their medical provider to ensure a safe return to
sport. Returning to athletic activities too soon after a concussion has
been shown to lead to prolonged recovery and puts an athlete at potential
risk for a more catastrophic injury.
It’s no secret that concussions pose a serious risk to long term
brain health. So take care of yourself by properly managing a concussion
should you sustain one. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to
contact Gunnison Valley Health neurological specialist Kristin Grimes,
DPT, at 970-641-7248.
For previous Healthspot topics, visit www.gunnisonvalleyhealth.org/healthspot