One concussion is already too much, let alone three, four, or more. A single concussion typically doesn’t result in permanent impairment, but many concussions can hasten the end of a person’s career (or perhaps their life).
Football players, coaches, and their parents should be cautious as more study is done on the effects of concussions on the brain. The studies on experiencing many concussions and whether there is a magic number that denotes trouble will be examined in greater detail in this essay.
How Many Concussions Are Too Many?
The maximum number of concussions that people can endure before developing irreversible damage is unknown. In all, while some athletes don’t appear to be affected after multiple concussions, others may still exhibit symptoms for years.
But generally speaking, your risk of developing chronic damage increases the more concussions you experience. Athletes shouldn’t, in theory, sustain any concussions. The most significant element is to have as few concessions as possible.
Three Strikes Concussions Rule
When it comes to quitting a sport after suffering numerous concussions, many parents and athletes follow the “three strikes” rule. According to experts, it depends on the individual and the severity of the concussion whether an athlete should return to action after suffering a concussion. A person with three concussions in one year is not the same as someone with three concussions over a ten-year span.
It mostly relies on the kind, seriousness, and length of recovery from each concussion for the patient. You could sustain one severe concussion and stop participating in contact sports, or you could sustain multiple mild concussions and fully recover.
While many doctors strongly advise an athlete to take a break if they have three concussions in a calendar year, they will first talk with the athlete about their recovery status, the interval between concussions, and whether they are having trouble with daily tasks or academic work.
The Risks of Having Too Many Concussions
If you’ve ever had a concussion, there’s a good chance that your recovery time was or will be quick. Even though they can persist for up to three months, the symptoms often go away after seven to ten days. Yet, after they are resolved, there usually aren’t any more issues, and the brain will have recovered.
The brain becomes a whole different thing when it has several concussions. A certain amount of time must pass before the brain can fully recover from an injury, just like a bone or muscle. Several concussions may surpass a body’s ability to heal, resulting in lasting injury.
The brain’s circuits weaken and signaling slows down when it experiences too much trauma. Moreover, blood flow and oxygenation decrease, making it more difficult for one’s brain cells to function normally. This makes it more difficult to think, focus, and even move. This behavior is still possible for the brain, but it consumes more energy. The brain then becomes fatigued.
Of course, the severity of these consequences increases with the number of concussions you have. These might result in second impact syndrome (SIS), which frequently kills or leaves survivors permanently disabled. Thankfully, this syndrome is extremely uncommon and typically only occurs when an athlete gets hit repeatedly while ignoring obvious concussion symptoms.
When Is It Okay To Resume Playing A Sport?
The severity of a brain injury affects the return-to-play recommendations. Athletes that get cut or bumped frequently resume their sport as soon as their injury is healed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises a gradual return-to-play approach for athletes who experience concussion-related symptoms such as migraine headaches, unconsciousness, or confusion.
Those who have severe traumatic brain injuries with brain hemorrhage might be able to return to their sport after a few months if a neurologist determines there is no brain damage.
Athletes who continue competing after sustaining a concussion run the risk of suffering another injury and taking longer to recover.
Repeated injuries might result in long-term problems such as memory loss, learning disabilities, emotional disorders, and difficulty solving tasks. Players should inform their doctor right away if they experience any new symptoms or are unable to return to their regular, daily activities.
How To Avoid Concussions?
The only method to entirely avoid sports-related concussions is to give up your sport. Losing a sport can be painful for many athletes and active individuals. Fortunately, players, coaches, and sports governing bodies work hard to establish safe spaces, uphold regulations, and promote reporting of concussions.
Limiting illegal tackling and helmet-to-helmet contact, avoiding hitting another athlete in the head, and making sure all equipment is suitable for play will help you reduce the chance of suffering a sports-related concussion.
Athletes can lessen their risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury by becoming familiar with concussion signs and symptoms and following a game plan.
One concussion is problematic, but if it is handled promptly and correctly, it is relatively treatable. But the more knocks your brain gets, the more difficult it is for it to get back to normal health and functioning. Thus, it’s crucial to shield it from as many impacts as possible by following our guide.