Over the last few months, major sporting bodies have been placed in the spotlight when it comes to the attention, management and expected protocols around concussions during play. The codes are being urged to do more than ever before to protect players from head knocks.
Medical experts have recently expressed their concerns around the need for more emphasis to be placed on educating players of the long-term effects on concussion. Leading expert Dr Adrian Cohen recently expressed in an interview with the ABC his doubts on how seriously concussion incidents are taken, “If we were talking about a hamstring injury and you said we are going to bring the player back next week, everybody would say you’re crazy. It’s the same for brain, we have to start giving the brain time to recover.”
For codes like the NRL, their Management of Concussion policy states: “A player who has suffered a concussion or potential concussion or exhibits the same symptoms of concussion should not return to play in the same game (or on the same day) even if they appear to have recovered.”
It’s believed the calls for harsher penalties for creating a concussion event in the first place may be the best way to deter players from injuring each other and to protect them as best as possible in each code.
State Bodies such as the New South Wales Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League have taken a stance and updated their concussion protocols for junior, grassroots matches. The changes are aimed at keeping players on the sidelines for longer after they have sustained a head knock.
Key solutions to help solve the current concussion tensions are as follows:
• Give the person a chance to actually recover with a decent timeframe
• Decrease the number of hits during the game
• Don’t allow tackling until an older age bracket
According to the experts, best scientific evidence shows physiological recovery takes about a month after suffering a concussion. As a controversial and very much major topic in Australian Sport at present, there will definitely be more to come as further decisions are made by governing bodies.
Should you have any questions about concussion or a potential concussion either yourself or a family member may have suffered, we recommend contacting your GP immediately. If you have any general questions surrounding this topic, our expert team of physiotherapists will be more than happy to share with you some of their learnings and findings on concussion and this current sporting issue.