Putting the game before your health: Concussions and football

Millions of Americans love football. But the love of the game by this nation and those who play it can often result in players and their families putting the game before their health.

One of the most common injuries for NFL players is a concussion. And while concussions might be common among football players, that does not make them trivial in any sense of the word.

Concussions can impact your work and long-term health way more than you think. Many people assume that a concussion only impacts your day-to-day life in the upcoming weeks or months following the incident that caused the injury. But in reality, some concussions can impact the way someone functions and thinks for the rest of their life.

New research shows that 87 out of 91 former NFL players tested positive for brain disease that can be directly linked to head trauma.

While a concussion is normally not deadly, it is something that both players and their families should pay close attention to and monitor. So what does it mean to monitor? Keep an eye out for the common symptoms that are associated with concussions. According to the Mayo Clinic, these symptoms can include the following:

  •  Loss of consciousness
  •  Headaches
  •  Nausea and vomiting
  •  Seeming dazed or confused
  •  Difficulty concentrating or a lag in response time

If your family member is exhibiting those signs, it might be time to seek help from a physician.

With these (somewhat scary) statistics in mind, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do to eradicate this problem or the symptoms that come from a concussion.

Unfortunately, once a concussion occurs the best treatment (and often only treatment) is rest. Aside from pain relievers, there really isn't a treatment like an over-the-counter medicine. With that said, it is important to keep in mind that a concussion is normally not life-threatening. Understanding what to look for can help you care for the football players in your life.

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