What is a concussion?
A common response would be “it is when you get hit on the head and get knocked out”. However, less than 10% of concussions result in loss of consciousness.
Basically, concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which results in a disturbance of brain function. There are many symptoms associated with concussion which include headache, dizziness, double vision and balance problems.
It is easy to put a plaster on a cut to help it heal, it is not so easy with a concussion. There has been a lot of research to try and find suitable remedies but because the brain is such a complex organ, it has not been straightforward. However, maintaining high levels of Glutathione is vital in the recuperation process.
Concussions can happen at any age and participants of sports such as boxing, rugby, football etc. have a much greater exposure to experiencing a concussion. Additionally, a history of head impacts and concussions increases the risk of further concussions which can also lead to cognitive decline.
There is now a much greater awareness around this issue, not least because of the concussion lawsuit served by 250+ ex-players against various Rugby bodies. This has yet to play out but the NFL (American Football) has already made “disability payments” to former players after years of denying any link between the sport and brain damage. As a result, this has led to several rule changes in American Football and with a bit of foresight, the Rugby bodies could have been better prepared to deal with this same issue in their own sport.
However, with the 2023 Rugby World Cup imminent, the focus will be very much on tackles, tackling technique and collisions along with the procedure of dealing with HIAs (Head Injury Assessments). Let us hope that this aspect of the game is not detrimental to the enjoyment of us all who will be watching the tournament.