Dr. Andrew Tucker: Hi! I am Dr. Andrew Tucker of Union Memorial Sports Medicine in MedStar Health and I would like to talk to you today, about, the causes of concussions.
Any activity in which there is direct or indirect stress or trauma to the head whether it be on a football field or lacrosse field or soccer field, it's a scenario where we see sports concussions take place. Not all concussions take place with a direct blow to the head or a direct blow to the field or the court.
Sometimes concussions can occur with indirect trauma to the head. In other, words a body coming to a rapid stop which sort of a whiplash mechanism can put enough, stress on the brain to actually cause a concussion.
Children and teenagers appear to be more vulnerable to concussions. The immature brain appears to be more sensitive and more vulnerable; and if they get a concussion, these same age patients and participants seem to have more trouble getting over or recovering from a concussion than the older patients, such as the adult athlete.
If an athlete has sustained one concussion, most experts feel that they are more susceptible to sustaining a second or third concussion assuming, they continue in those activities that put them at risk. The reason is not completely clear. Some people feel that certain brains are more vulnerable to the stress of head injury and therefore, more vulnerable to sustaining a concussion.
Others feel that it's not necessarily the brain's vulnerability; it's more due to an individual's activity. The way they play the game, the way they use their head, their own inherent aggressiveness that increases the risk. So it's not really completely understood.
The increase in concussions that we appear to be seeing in sports, built at a high school college level as well, as professional levels is probably due to an increase awareness of the injury, improved understanding on the part of the athlete and parents and coaches.
But I think most of us feel, that the increase in concussions that were appreciating is actually due to improve reporting, on the part of the athlete to the athletic trainer and the team physicians.