I had the opportunity to be guest speaker at the Fortius Community Sport Concussion Event, in Burnaby, BC and speak about my experience with concussions and tell Adams story.
By no coincidence on the week of the 1st year anniversary of Adams passing I was asked to share his story in order to create awareness for others currently suffering with concussion symptoms and what happens when concussions are mismanaged. I also spoke on behalf of the families dealing with athletes with symptoms and mental illness, how real this is. We need to learn from this … lets not let it happen again!
I am so happy to see the growing community awareness about conucussions. Know the signs and symptoms of concussions and do not be afraid to talk about it with others. (other athletes, families and doctors).
According to the Mayo clinic: The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms can last for days, weeks or even longer.
Common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury are headache, loss of memory (amnesia) and confusion. The amnesia, which may or may not follow a loss of consciousness, usually involves the loss of memory of the event that caused the concussion.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
Temporary loss of consciousness
Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
Dizziness or “seeing stars”
Ringing in the ears
Delayed response to questions
Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury, such as:
Concentration and memory complaints
Irritability and other personality changes
Sensitivity to light and noise
Psychological adjustment problems and depression
Disorders of taste and smell
If you know someone who is an athlete who is suffering from concussion symptoms, don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to them. They need to know that they are not alone and there is HOPE! They are not crazy….they have been concussed! There is so much to learn yet about the brain. Look out for micro bleeds as a coach and family members- early signs and symptoms that they are behaving out of character.
The more risky the sport the greater risk of head injury, so be a smart athlete and be a smart parent/coach. Get educated. Your brain is a powerful computer, there are no magic pills or fixes the best way is prevention and good coaching with concussion protocols for youth and in sport.
The Top 4 key things I learned from the Fortius Community Concussion Event.
1) You increase your risk of concussions and symptoms if you return too early to sport after suffering a concussion.
2) As recurrent concussions occur this decreases the speed of recovery and neurological function. You are more likely to suffer a concussion once you have already had one. So repetitive concussions may become exponentially more severe.
3) A concussion does not need to happen from a head impact, it can be a result of an upper cervical neck/spine forces. From the spine and neck up.
4) Physiotherapy on the neck can speed up concussion recovery
University of Calgary scientist finds physiotherapy can speed up concussion recovery
University of Calgary on Wednesday July 30, 2014. New research by Schneider, a researcher with the Faculty of Kinesiology’s Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute has shown that concussion treatment that combines treatment of the cervical spine (the vertebrae in your neck) and vestibular system (inner ear) is four times more likely to lead to an athlete’s medical clearance for return to sport by eight weeks.
How Travel Roller may be a great self massage management tool for athletes with concussions:
The Travel Roller fits ergonomically in the cervical curvature of the neck. It was very important in the design that it be 4.3 inches in diameter and fitting most economically under the neck was very important to align and massage the tissues around the curvature of the neck and skull. This was very crucial part of the design and feel when we created the Travel Roller. The size and density and compression (feel) of the Travel Roller works wonders on the neck with self-myofascial release.
The majority of the Foam rollers are 6″ in Diameter, making it very hard to manipulate and massage the deeper neck muscles. The foam on most foam rollers is also too thick, making it ineffective for precise deep tissue release. Knobby rollers might also be injuring to the delicate curve of the neck vertebrae, and should be used with extreme caution. You need to question why you are rolling your neck on a foam roller that is too big for your body and is it even doing anything other then being a good pillow or neck bolster.
Here is how to roll you neck on the Travel Roller by Adam Wood, BKin, CSCS:
There is something to be said about the AMAZING feel of the Travel Roller and how it aligns your neck when even Labron James @kingjames is using it during practice. Who knows… maybe it even has an effect on the re balancing of the inner ear and cervical vertebrae in ways that have not yet been understood.
Don’t forget to roll your neck and upper traps on the Travel Roller it is as easy as using a pillow right before bed or during post workout recovery – its deep, precise and effective SMR (self-myofascial release) for the most important superficial fascia connecting to your brain!