Concussions take more recovery time the more you sustain them

Almost every one has sustained a concussion at least one time in their lives, whether it was because of a sport or some accident outside sports. However, some people do not know that they have sustained a concussion before because it goes unrecorded. There are fewer concussions recorded on a teenage football practice field than in a game setting, but this is because there are less trained eyes on the practice field compared to the football field when looking for concussions.

According to the University of Pittsburgh, concussions are brain disturbances that can happen from impact to the head. Some symptoms of concussions are loss of memory, nauseous,  vomiting, and sensitivity to light. There are some guidelines that are set in high school’s to prevent and detect concussions. For example, in my school we have the impact test that was a baseline test that every athlete has to take. This test had different simulations that included memorizing shapes, numbers, and patterns. If an athlete had any type of head injury, they would have to retake the impact test, and if they failed they would get diagnosed with a concussion. However, some athletes do not know when they have sustained a certain head injury, so sometimes these concussions get overlooked.

According to Tara Haelle, if more than one concussion occurs to a specific individual over the span of a year, the recovery time increases to 2-3 times longer than if you were to sustain your first concussion. This study provides evidence that every individual who participates in sports should be careful and take precaution if they think that they have a concussion. Tara Haelle also stated in her article that 70 to 90 percent of concussions in sports go unnoticed. That’s an overwhelming amount of people who don’t know that they have sustained a concussion.

In this study, the median went from 11 days of recovery time on the first concussion, to 22 days if the subject had a history of concussions. The science behind this is because the brain cells have not fully recovered from the previous concussion, so it takes longer to heal. Because of this, there are more brain cells that have been damaged. The putative causal variable for this study is how many concussions occurred to the subject before the most recent concussion was sustained. The putative response variable for this study is how long it takes for the subject to heal from the most recent concussion. There is no way this study could be reverse causation because of the passage of time. There could be a third confounding variable behind this study because we do not know if the study was controlled against the third variables. Chance is always a possibility in these studies, but it is highly unlikely. The mechanism that causes the longer recovery time is the impact that damaged more brain cells.

In conclusion, a smart individual will pay more attention to if they are obtaining these injuries and if they are getting checked out when they do. If a concussion is spotted, the necessary recovery time must be obtained in order to protect themselves from getting another concussion.


Works Cited

Haelle, Tara. “Childhood Concussion Studies Butt Heads.” Scientific American. Scientific American, 09 June 2013. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.        

University of Pittsburgh University Marketing Communications Webteam. “Concussions.” Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh. UMC Web Team, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. 

4 thoughts on “Concussions take more recovery time the more you sustain them

  1. Jacob Gross

    The way concussions have been treated in professional sports, especially football, seems to have been much more precautionary recently, which is a very good thing. I found an article (below) about how the NFL plans to commit $100 million to try to combat the concussion problem. More and more people are becoming aware of the horrible ramifications of either mistreating or not treating a concussion at all. I watched the “Concussion” movie which emphasized how NFL players can be tremendously affected by concussions. The scary part of it it is that disorders from concussions such as CTE , which quite a bit of former NFL players have been found to have as well as boxers, cannot be diagnosed when the person is living. You can only tell if the person had it after they pass away. I included another article below explaining CTE. Concussions will always be an issue that people will face in contact sports especially football, but the precautions taken when someone thinks they have a concussion can play a huge role in someone’s present and future health.

  2. Justine Arlexandra Cardone

    I’m glad that you did this article. Within a year and a half I had 4 concussions. One was in 11th grade from playing soccer. My second was later in the year from passing out and smashing my head on a sink(not my best moment). My last two were this past lacrosse season. Every time it seemed as if they were worse and had a longer healing time. My friends that played football would always say “suck it up, I’ve had like 10 concussions but I don’t tell anyone.” That always seemed dumb to me because I would think that an injury to your brain would be the one that you most want to take care of. It is also shocking to me that concussion research is a fairly new thing and that athletes are sent back to their sports so quickly. I couldn’t agree more with you on the fact that we need to pay more attention to these injuries and make sure we get the proper treament because long term effects can be quite intense.

  3. Wesley Scott Alexander

    I thought this was really interesting. I played football all through high school and am pretty sure I have had at least one concussion, even though I have never been diagnosed with one before. I think the topic of concussions, especially in contact sports is a big issue that will continue to get more and more light shed upon it. I actually wrote one of my <a href="; blog posts on this topic if you’re interested in learning more.

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