LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Brains bounce and twist in the skill, though they aren’t supposed to.
Concussions create chemical changes in the brain and damage brain cells. Arika Button, physical therapist at Origami Rehabilitation, said it can happen to anyone.
“The main cause of concussions probably span from motor vehicle accidents, falls and sports–pretty even split there, all the way from students to the elderly,” Button said.
This time of year is especially concussion-rich, because students from ages 5-25 are playing fall sports. Health experts like Button want athletes and students to be aware of the symptoms.
According to Brain and Life, symptoms may include trouble with memory, attention, concentration, or thinking; confusion; headache or lightheadedness; blurred vision or tired eyes; ringing in the ears; fatigue; behavioral or mood changes; or altered sleep patterns.
“So, fall sports has a lot of contact; high-intensity supports including football, soccer, field hockey–and with that comes inherent risk of concussion; however, concussions can occur from multiple other things–motor vehicle accidents, falls, and then non-contact sports as well,” said Button.
The number of people who get a concussion each year reaches the millions, but 50% go unreported or undetected, according to ABF.
“I think that’s where the misconception is there, is that ‘concussion’s no big deal, I can brush it off, get back on the field,’ but sometimes it can have long-term consequences if not treated,” Button said.
The American Brain Foundation said traumatic brain injuries–even mild ones like concussions–are considered a brain disorder and can potentially cause a lasting or permanent impact.
Button said it’s important to be aware of your body, to recognize the signs, and that these injuries vary from one person to the next.
“So, being aware of your body and knowing what your normal is, is really helpful,” Button said, “and then if you sustain, like, a blow to your head or body and you’ve noticed changes in any physical, emotional or cognitive abilities–that would be reason to take notice and see your physician.”