Concussions are Not Limited to Football Players
Concussions are a form of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)1 that causes damage to the delicate brain tissue. TBIs can not only have immediate cognitive and physical symptoms but suffering multiple concussions can also have long-term effects and can lead to the development of degenerative cognitive conditions. Some athletes who have sustained multiple concussions over the years have reported developing early-onset Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other serious conditions that can significantly deteriorate their quality of life.
When you think of concussions in sports, you likely first think of football players. Football is one of the most dangerous contact sports and many former players have reported long-term effects of sustaining multiple concussions over the years and former NFL players even successfully filed a legal claim2 regarding these injuries. However, many other sports besides football present the very serious risk of traumatic brain injuries.
Hockey is also a rough sport and, as athletes get older, can involve and even encourage a lot of contact. Players regularly “check” each other, knocking other players into the boards and they often hit their heads against the hard surface. In addition, hockey has traditionally involved players getting into fights with each other – often much to the crowd’s pleasure. Players have been known to tear each other’s helmets off and hit each other, often in the head and neck region. While many of these fights may be contrived, they still involve physical contact with the head, often resulting in trauma. Activists and former players have been calling for fighting to be eliminated from the sport, citing the risks of concussions. Former players have also filed a lawsuit3 against the National Hockey League for allowing them to sustain multiple concussions.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world and among children in the United States. However, many soccer players sustain concussions due to both “heading” the ball (hitting the ball with their forehead or the top of their head) or due to collisions with other players. Soccer players also do not wear helmets, so they have no protection when they do hit their heads. For these reasons, concussions are definitely a concern for soccer players of all ages.
Gymnastics involves flipping and flying through the air and also tumbling on many different types of apparatus that are far off the ground. Needless to say, the opportunity to fall down and hit their heads on the ground or on apparatus is high for all gymnasts. While gymnasts are first learning new tricks, they can often fall and sustain serious concussions. However, even the most elite gymnasts can make mistakes that cause them to fall on their heads or necks and suffer serious traumatic brain injuries.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of TBI because of the incredibly high risk that individuals inside a car will hit their heads on something during a collision. Auto racers such as NASCAR drivers are regularly involved in high-speed and violent crashes, which can certainly result in severe head trauma. In addition, the racing season often involves such a jam-packed schedule that many racers do not take enough time off to heal from their concussions and instead get behind the wheel, only increasing the risk of further mistakes and crashes because concussions can cause lack of focus and other cognitive issues.
Boxing should perhaps be the most obvious sport that results in concussions because participants take blows to the head and face over and over both in practice and in competition. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali developed early-onset Parkinson’s disease likely as a result of repeated brain injuries from years of boxing competition.
Wrestling is another rough contact sport in which people get thrown down on the mats repeatedly. Even though the mats are covering the floor in wrestling matches, it is not enough cushion to shield wrestlers from serious blows to the head and neck, often resulting in concussions.
Call an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer to Discuss your Case Today
No matter what type of sport you participate in, there is likely a risk of getting hit in the head with a piece of equipment or due to contact with another player or the ground. In some cases, athletes who suffer concussions have the right to recover for their injury-related losses. Please call an experienced brain injury attorney at the Dolman Law Group for help at 727-451-6900.