concussion playing lacrosse

Lacrosse Season? Get Familiar with the Risks of a Concussion Playing Lacrosse

Female and male lacrosse players face different risks, but concussions and head injuries are common for both. Get familiar with the risks and symptoms of lacrosse-related concussions.

In the past two decades, lacrosse has gained immense popularity and become one of America’s most popular sports, especially among young athletes in high school and college. An intense, technical sport, lacrosse is enjoyable for both players and spectators.

>However, alongside the spike in lacrosse popularity, a concurrent rise in lacrosse-related injuries has likewise occurred. In particular, the occurrence of lacrosse concussions has proven to be serious. According to the most recent lacrosse concussion statistics, the risk of experiencing a concussion playing lacrosse is considerable: On average, 40-46 boys and 31-35 girls suffer a concussion playing lacrosse per 100,000 athletic exposures.

These statistics demonstrate that, in terms of concussions, lacrosse injuries vs other sports are exceptionally high; of assessed sports, only ice hockey and football have a higher rate of sports concussions. While lacrosse concussions vs football may still be lower, lacrosse is newer as a mainstream sport and lacrosse-related risks and injuries are less well-studied and understood. That’s why the medical experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute have compiled this overview of the risks and symptoms of experiencing a concussion playing lacrosse.

3 Risks and 5 Symptoms of Lacrosse-Related Concussions

As noted, lacrosse head injury statistics demonstrate a very real risk of concussions--but what specific elements of this game are threatening players? Let’s examine three specific risks that can result in a concussion playing lacrosse.

  1. Body Checks
    A major cause for the higher concussion rates in men’s lacrosse is the allowance of body checks similar to hockey. The best way to prevent these injuries is to always use protective equipment; helmets with face guards, shoulder pads, gloves, and mouthpieces are mandatory. Elbow pads and protective genital cups are also recommended.

  2. Unprotected Contact
    While women’s lacrosse does not permit checking-type contact, unintentional or aggressive contact is partially responsible for the number of injuries shown in women’s lacrosse concussion statistics. These injuries can be prevented by strictly enforcing a no-body-checks policy and making sure that all stick-checks are aimed away from other players’ heads and bodies.

  3. Ball to Head Collisions
    Lacrosse balls are hard and are thrown with immense velocity--in fact, the fastest recorded lacrosse shot was propelled at a speed of 111mph. Promoting careful aim and maintaining a cautious awareness of one’s personal surroundings is critical; during competitive matches, when energy and exhilaration cause players to lose certain precautions and place full focus elsewhere, ball-to-face injuries are much more common.

If you believe you may have experienced a concussion playing lacrosse, familiarity with the common symptoms of sports-related injuries will help you to better understand your condition and get proper treatment. There are numerous early signs of concussions that can be detected--and early detection allows patients to begin treatment early and reduce long-term risks and complications. Below are five typical symptoms:

  1. Unconsciousness

  2. Memory Loss

  3. Headaches, Dizziness, Nausea

  4. Blurred vision and Ringing in Ears

  5. Loss of Coordination or Balance

If you’ve experienced any of these key symptoms, it is critical that you undergo an examination by a doctor or specialist to analyze the severity of your injury and any possible complications that need to be treated. The devastating effects of repeated concussions and failure to adequately prevent and treat these injuries have begun to come to light in recent years--and while much attention has focused on football concussions, other high-impact sports such as hockey and lacrosse demand similar prevention and treatment measures.

If you’ve suffered a concussion playing lacrosse, the specialists at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute can ensure that you receive the treatment you need. Their skill, knowledge, and experience are unparalleled, and they’ll be glad to walk you through each stage of the recovery process. Contact Rothman Orthopaedic Institute today.

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