Sports Brain Injuries and Concussions

Sports concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by an impact to the head while participating in sports, mainly contact sports teams. Concussions can result in negative long-term effects on brainwave functioning. These brain injuries can go undiagnosed, since 90% of concussions do not result in loss of consciousness. If a visible injury isn’t present, some assume that all will be alright. However, that is untrue as internal swelling and bleeding can be present and more dangerous so if a head injury occurs, a concussion test should be performed as soon as possible to determine the extent of the injury. This is a growing problem for children or teen athletes, especially as young brain are still developing. 

“The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that emergency room visits due to concussions for children between the ages of 8 and 13 has doubled in the last ten years. Additionally, concussions have risen a whopping 200% among teens between the ages of 14 and 19 as well. Startling statistics show 47% of all sports-related concussions are attributed to high school football, 33% occurring during practices.(3)”

Symptoms of a Concussion

Physical symptoms include

  • dizziness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • noise and light sensitivity
  • blurred vision
  • Headache
  • fatigue
  • Problems with balance and spatial awareness
  • Unequal pupils

Behavioral symptoms include:

  • Irritability and anger
  • Impulsivity
  • Poor attention, concentration and focus
  • Poor social and emotional awareness
  • Inflexibility and lack of ability to empathize with others

These are just a few that have been reported but many have seen other cognitive concerns in their short and long term memory, vision, spatial awareness, poor sleep and communication depending on the location and extent of the injury.

How Neurofeedback can Help sports-related brain injuries and concussions:

Neurofeedback is used to help improve symptoms of brain injury and rework the damage done by the impact in order to help the brain relearn how to self-regulate and function normally again. There are several areas in which neurofeedback holds particular promise in sports, including enhancement of concentration and attention, reduction of anxiety, improving control over emotions (e.g., anger), for overcoming effects from mild head injuries and concussions, and for improving physical balance. (1)

Sports Professionals and Athletes use Neurofeedback:

Many professionals use neurofeedback to maximize their peak performance and increase their focus, concentration and communication between the areas of the brain that improve balance, coordination and physicality.

  • Kirk Cousins (NFL)
  • Kerri Walsh-Jennings ( Olympic beach volleyball champion)
  • Italian World Cup Soccer Team (won the World Cup in 2006)
  • Canadian Olympic Ski Team in 2009 (won most gold medals of any country in 2010 Winter Olympics)
  • Football players from University of Notre Dame
  • St Thomas Aquinas High School (Florida state Champions and national champions for five years)
  • Athletes who played for the Boston Red Sox and the Dallas Mavericks

 

How Neurofeedback works to help damage:

In the past, concussion damage was seen to be irreversible. However, with advances in neurofeedback, this method can be used to help correct the root cause of the damage.

A qEEG Brain Map is performed to pinpoint the area’s of dysregulation from the concussion and protocols are recreated that are specifically designed for the individual’s brain chemistry.  With regular consistent training, healthy brainwave patterns can be improved, normalized and even optimized depending on the extent of the injury. Neurofeedback is long term positive change that one would be able to go on functioning.

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