Tips & Techniques to Get You Back to Full Strength

Can You Prevent A Concussion?

Dana Tress 
 • 
June 6, 2017

Concussion is a risk that is taken when we engage in any activity in which our head is at risk for either striking another object or being involved in
a whiplash-type motion. Concussions regularly occur from events such as collisions in sports, motor vehicle accidents, and falls. While concussions
are not fully preventable, there are things that we can do to minimize the risk and impact of a concussion:

• Improve your balance: From athletes to senior citizens, increasing your balance will help reduce your risk for falling. This, in turn, will help decrease
your risk for a concussion

• Strengthen your neck: Female athletes, while strong, still do not demonstrate the same amount of neck strength as compared to males of the same sport.
Simple neck exercise can help strengthen and stabilize your neck, reducing your risk for concussion injury.

• Understand Your Risk: Realize that when you participate in any activity, be it a sport or walking down an icy sidewalk, you are at a certain amount
of risk for sustaining a concussion. Being aware and alert to your activity will help minimize the risk of injury.

• Wear an appropriate helmet: The helmet is not going to prevent you from getting a concussion. However, a properly fitting helmet for the activity
in which you are participating (be it horseback riding, bicycling, or playing football), will help absorb the force of any impact to your head and
help to decrease the severity of your injury.

• Take Baseline Concussion Tests: Each year, before the start of your sports season, athletes should participate in baseline concussion testing. This
helps establish how your brain functions normally with reaction times, word recall, processing speed and memory. Should you have a brain injury during
your sport season, your recovery will be guided by getting you back to your baseline, or normal, levels of brain function.

• Education: From coaches to parents, from athletes to the everyday citizen, understanding signs and symptoms of concussions and how they occur is
the first step in reducing risk and proper management of injuries. Teaching athletes proper technique and form will also help decrease risk of injury.

Finally, call us for a complimentary screening. Our concussion specialist will discuss with you the aspects of your lifestyle that put you at greater risk
for a concussion and preventative measures you can take to minimize your risk.

Dana Tress
Meet the Author
Dana Tress, PT, CEAS, AIB-CON is a physical therapist specializing in the management of concussion, balance dysfunction, headaches and dizziness in Crystal Lake, Illinois at Smith Physical Therapy Balance + Concussion Center, an award winner in concierge physical therapy services for McHenry County and surrounding regions.
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