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Illinois Neuro & Physical Rehabilitation LTD
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CAN'T IGNORE CONCUSSIONS ANY LONGER

Serious concussions — and even death — will continue to plague young athletes until the sporting community takes the condition seriously, experts say.

While there has been great headway in concussion research and treatment, students, coaches and parents are still behind the curve when it comes to addressing the problem head-on and getting treatment.

The most serious injuries almost always happen when athletes take a big hit to the head, but shrug off the symptoms and rush back into the game too quickly — a condition called second impact syndrome.

"Every single concussion is going to get better, but it takes time and it takes energy," says Dr. Kristian Goulet, an expert in sports medicine and concussion therapy. "You have to give it time to rest and repair itself."

A concussion is when your brain gets a cramp, much like getting a stitch in your leg while you're running, and only rest can improve it, he said.

"The less thinking you do, the less texting you do, the less Facebooking, the more energy your brain has to dedicate itself to fixing itself," he said. "Everyone is different, but kids take longer to take get better than adults."

That could mean as long as a month or more, but many students insist on getting right back into the game without getting treatment.

The first step is educating everyone in the house about the dangers.

Any parent who has their kids in contact sports should take a course in recognizing the signs of concussions.

"Sometimes you have to teach the parents too about how serious these things are," he said. "A lot of parents have no idea. But there's a generational change happening and more people are now coming around to the idea."

Corinne Kagan, program director with Concussions Ontario, said teenagers have to break down the mentality that they're young and invincible.

"The most important part is recognizing the signs right away and then actually responding to it in the right way," she said. "If you feel anything at all, you must not go back into play."

She said too many people aren't taking their injuries seriously.

"Coaches are getting better and better at it, parents are improving, but there are still times where somebody might not realize that it's occurred."

But Goulet argues the issue is now in the forefront of everyone's mind, and the educational gap is quickly closing in.

"Now, everyone's concussion radar is up, but we still have a lot of work to do," he said.

READ MORE AT: http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/05/18/cant-ignore-concussions-any-longer?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=recommend-button&utm_campaign=Can%27t+ignore+concussions+any+longer
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