Concussion has been reported to be the most common youth ice hockey injury. It represents more than 15% of all injuries in 9 to 16 year old players and close to 25% of injuries among male high school players. The report of injuries is estimated at a mere quarter of all concussions that occur! A study in the Journal of Pediatrics this month, found that young adolescent male ice hockey players had a significantly increased risk of prolonged post-concussion symptoms compared to older players. These studies performed in both Boston and Rhode Island Hospitals found that the younger the player (the lighter and least sexually mature) the longer the recovery. On average younger players took 40% longer to recover compared to the more physically mature players. In addition, the study demonstrated an increased probability of experiencing prolonged concussion symptoms among lighter weight males. These findings further suggest that adolescents may have longer recoveries from concussions than adults. These findings simply intensify the necessity for better mandates on education and awareness of concussion management among our young athletes. Research also highlights the risk of younger lighter players “playing up” to superior teams. Sadly under reported and under treated concussion can have devastating effects on the young brain that carries into adulthood. Common Medical treatments include acetaminophen, opiates, reduction in screen time and rest. For longer term symptoms stimulants, antidepressants and mood stabilizers. When looking closely at the anatomy and physiology of concussion, the traumatic force causes a “metabolic problem” an increased need for energy in the form of glucose/sugar. This glucose, if present is used to repair the brain; However evidence suggests this is not at optimal function in an adolescent brain. After an immediate event offer glucose to the brain, perhaps by way of pineapple or orange juice. Within 24 hours have a chiropractic adjustment to maximize oxygen flow to the brain and accelerate healing! Protect the brain with “Mighty Mind” (sold at the FWC). Mighty Mind contains the ONLY form of magnesium that crosses the Blood Brain Barrier to assist in healing. Brain healing requires elevated magnesium and the Brain magnesium levels are low during the first 4 days post-concussion! The brain needs rest! Weeks of rest, the younger the brain the more rest it needs, this is usually in the form of no screens, homework, or stress (your local provider should be advocating for our athletes in very specific terms for coaches and schools). As a parent, coach, advocate, politician or community citizen, it is all of our responsibility to insure the brain health of our community! Talk about it, raise awareness of it and treat it!
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