Headway promoting concussion awareness
Munster Rugby has recently nominated Headway Brain Injury Support and Services as their charity partner for 2015-'16 to raise awareness of the importance of minding your head in sport.
Those who view the game regularly already know that professional rugby is making progress with the detection and management of concussion but while there has been a sign of significant progress in professional rugby there is still a pressing problem in the amateur and youth ranks.
Headway has launched the #headucate campaign to make players and coaches at all levels aware of the dangers of head injuries and the repercussions for people's lives if they take the risk of playing on.
Any bang to the head can lead to a concussion. Officially, concussion is known as "mild traumatic brain injury".
However, the reality can be anything but mild. A blow to the head or the body results in the brain being shaken inside the skull. This disrupts normal brain function and leads to the rapid onset of a number of symptoms.
These are commonly headaches and dizziness, but can also include difficulties with memory, judgement, reflexes, vision, mood, sleep, balance and muscle coordination.
In some cases, the symptoms may be delayed and evolve over hours or days. And despite the common belief that you need to get knocked out to get concussed, there is actually no loss of consciousness in 90pc of sports-related concussions. This is why it can be so challenging for it to be recognised on the sports field.
At Headway, we see the impact that concussion can have on people and their day-to-day lives. The #headucate campaign is aimed at making players and managers at all levels more aware of the risks of continuing to play after sustaining a concussion. If in doubt, sit it out.
To find out more on concussion or Headway services, please contact our helpline 1890 200 278 or log on to www.headway.ie.