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Concussions and Chiropractic: What You Need to Know About High School Sports Injuries

Cheerleader above crowd

Another season of high school sports is in full swing here in Georgia, and for families and friends of teenage athletes, it means cheering on the hometeam. High school sports bring the community together for fun events so we can watch our kids give it their all on the field and on the court. 

What most of us don’t think about until it happens, is that high school sports often come with injuries, and of those injuries, concussions are at the top of the list. According to a recent study, the top three high school sports with the highest concussion rates are:

It’s not surprising that football is at the top of the list, but what isn’t reflected in that data are the injuries that occur during practice. The list above refers to what happens during games. 

While nearly 64% of kids get concussions during games or competitions, there is one sport that has a higher concussion rate during practice rather than during competition: girls’ cheerleading. If you have a teenager on a sports team or a competition cheerleader at home, you need to be aware of the signs indicating they may have experienced a concussion. 

Symptoms of a concussion can last beyond the injury

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs as a result of a blow, bump, or jolt to the head. Left untreated, concussions can have a lasting impact on young athletes, including long-term brain damage. Even after diagnosis, treatment, and time off from sports, kids can suffer from post-concussion syndrome, enduring headaches, neck pain, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. 

We also know that a blow to the head almost always affects the muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck. Head trauma usually means the upper cervical spine gets thrown out of alignment, and when this misalignment happens, it can put pressure on the nerves that lead directly to the brain. Neck misalignment can inhibit proper blood flow to the brain, which leads to many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. 

That’s where chiropractic care comes in

With gentle, precise spinal adjustments, we can help relieve the pressure on the central nervous system by returning the upper cervical spine to its proper alignment. Even the slightest misalignment – just a ¼ of a millimeter – can impact communication between the brain and the body, and ultimately create health issues in your entire body. 

What to do if your child suffers head trauma during a game or practice

First, seek immediate medical attention if the injury is debilitating. Beyond the obvious, sometimes symptoms don’t appear until a day or two after the injury, so it’s important to pay attention to your child’s condition, especially if headaches, nausea, or other symptoms begin in the first 24 hours following the traumatic event. 

If your child is diagnosed with a concussion, they’ll need to rest and allow time for the brain to recover from the injury. Limit any physical or mental activities that increase symptoms, such as sports, vigorous movements, reading, or looking at a computer screen.

Next, give AC Spine & Wellness Center a call. We can help realign your child’s neck and spine, which may help relieve concussion-related symptoms, like headaches, neck pain, and  shoulder soreness. Regular adjustments following a concussion injury can also help your teenager stay healthy as they resume their usual activities and return to the playing field. 

Questions? Click here, or give us a call today at 770-513-8922 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about chiropractic care and keeping your whole family healthy at every age.

Dr. Jeanette Altieri Dr. Jeanette Altieri is a licensed Chiropractor serving the Lawrenceville community for more than 20 years.She is certified in the Webster technique, a safe and gentle technique for turning breech babies, with specialty areas in Nutrition, Pediatrics, and Pregnancy. She is an international speaker, speaking to chiropractors, their families and staff about the care of infants, children, pregnancy and motivation. She also co-hosted a local radio talk show, “Health Talk,” to help educate people on the benefits of alternative therapies and wellness.

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