Softball Concussions: Don’t Let Them Slide by Unnoticed

R. Robert Franks, DO, FAOASM April 13th, 2017

Learn about the symptoms and treatments of softball concussions.

Softball concussion stories are rare. That’s because non-impact sports have much lower rates of concussions than high-impact sports such as football. But that doesn’t mean that softball concussions don’t occur. Concussions can occur during any activity, and it is important that people are aware of the dangers of concussions, practice appropriate preventative measures, and know what to do when one occurs.

Why Softball Concussions Need to be Treated Seriously

A concussion occurs when a person suffers a direct blow to the head or body where the head snaps back and forth. When this happens, the brain may be shaken within the skull. The instability of the brain during that movement causes a mild, traumatic brain injury requiring rest and attention. This results in a temporary impairment of brain functioning and processing.

One of the biggest concerns with concussions is that they may be ignored and go untreated. It is especially problematic for athletes who return to their training too early and risk having a second concussion which may have long-term ramifications.

If you or someone you know has sustained a head injury, look for the symptoms below, which vary from physical, to mental and emotional:

  • Drowsiness

  • Headaches

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Memory loss or confusion

  • Difficulty balancing or dizziness

  • Irritability, depression, or a general increase in emotion

  • Sensitivity to light or noise

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Change in sleep routine

See a doctor immediately to determine whether a concussion has occurred if any of these symptoms emerge.

What to Expect from Concussion Recovery

There are a several tests used to determine if a concussion occurs. During a neuropsychological assessment, a number of mental functions are tested by either a computer or by a neuropsychologist. Balance testing is used to measure the brain’s control of movement which is commonly inhibited after a concussion. Additional testing may include an eye exam and sleep studies.

The recovery time for a concussion is normally around seven to ten days, although sometimes symptoms may last for weeks or months. Initially, the primary treatment for a concussion is rest. It is essential that athletes who have suffered softball concussions take a complete break from training as well as from all other physical and mental activities. Even reading or watching television should be limited so as to allow the brain sufficient time to heal. Be sure to follow your physician’s concussion management plan to ensure a full recovery.

Once the symptoms have dissipated, patients may begin to return to normal activities, but should do so gradually. Although symptom-free, the brain may not be entirely recovered and the gradual return to activity gives it the opportunity to continue the recovery process.

Prevention and Treatment

Awareness is the most important thing for softball concussions, as well as, implementing the necessary precautions to prevent them. When concussions happen, get immediate treatment–do not ever push through a concussion for the sake of the game.

Athletes should be equipped with helmets and receive proper training in skills and techniques to minimize the occurrence of concussions. If a head injury does take place, coaches and athletes should take prompt action to obtain proper treatment.

If you or someone you care about has sustained a head injury or a possible softball concussion, don’t wait, get expert care today. Call Rothman Orthopaedic Institute at 1-800-321-999 to learn more about concussion treatment and care or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

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