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Injuries to the head and neck can be some of the most dangerous of all, but a great deal can be prevented by wearing the proper gear. If your sport requires you to wear head protection, be vigilant about using it!
ConcussionsCaused by a blow to the head, a concussion is the most common form of head injury for athletes. It can be easy to miss as its symptoms can be very subtle, such as headache, fatigue, irritability, disorientation, visual disturbance, and confusion. If a concussion is suspected, it’s important to remove an athlete from play immediately for an evaluation. A concussion that goes untreated can put an athlete at serious risk, because repeat injury can lead to a permanent decrease in brain function. Other symptoms: memory problems, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting, problems with concentration
Neck Sprains and Strains One of the most common sport-related neck injuries is whiplash, which occurs when the neck is quickly thrown forward causing ligaments to strain and muscles to sprain. Whiplash can be painful, but with rest and treatment will usually go away within one to two weeks. Symptoms: pain, decreased range of motion, tightness, tenderness, headaches
Burners and Stingers Burners and stingers, named for the tingling sensation they cause in the back and neck, are common in contact sports like football, soccer, hockey, rugby, wrestling, and lacrosse. They occur when the neck is thrown into a side position, causing the nerves in the neck to be pinched. Symptoms usually resolve within minutes or hours, but if they persist, it’s important to see a doctor. Symptoms: a burning or electric shock sensation, arm numbness or weakness, warm sensations
Broken Neck A fracture to any bone in the neck is always a very serious matter, because it can result in possible damage to the spinal cord and possibly lead to paralysis. If you suspect someone has suffered a neck fracture, do not attempt to lift or move that person and call 9-1-1 immediately. Symptoms: shock, temporary or permanent paralysis, pain spreading from the neck to the shoulder or arms, bruising or swelling at the back of the neck