Large, imposing, and tough to conquer, Xavier has played football since grade school. Now a defensive lineman on his college football team, he’s suffering the effects of his fifth concussion. This most recent head injury is the one that put him over the edge – memory lapses, threats to harm himself, deteriorating relationships, not acting like himself. Xavier is under orders to rest his brain, and he’s terrified that he’s going to lose his athletic scholarship if he doesn’t get back on the field. But his family is afraid they might lose him if he puts that helmet on one more time.
Estimates compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that between 1.6 million and 3.8 million concussions happen every year. While football is overwhelmingly in the lead, here are 10 sports where concussions happen most often and the average annual concussion rate for each, according to research gathered from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS):
10. Softball – 2, 417
9. Hockey – 2,498
8. Wrestling, boxing, martial arts – 2,509
7. Skiing – 2,890
6. Snowboarding – 3,204
5. Baseball – 3,441
4. Horseback riding – 3,477
3. Soccer – 6,810
2. Basketball – 7,654
1. Football – 17,627
The NEISS collects injury reports annually from 100 emergency rooms to compile their statistics. Not mentioned on the NIESS list but reported as growing in the number of head injuries present in the sport, particularly in high school, are lacrosse and cheerleading, according to the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Lacrosse, especially, is ranking on the concussion list for impact speed.
Causes of Sports Concussions
There’s a belief that substandard helmets lead to more head injuries in sports, but the risk is present regardless of protective equipment. A professional football player will receive an estimated 900 to 1,500 blows to the head in any given season. While most concussions result from player-to-player contact – mostly head-to-head collisions – contact with the playing surface and the playing apparatus, like a ball or stick, are not uncommon.
It may seem like concussions happen far more often now, but there’s a strong possibility that the increase in concussions rates is because coaches, players, athletic trainers, and parents are now better able to recognize the symptoms of concussion and report the injury. Knowing the signs of a concussion is critical to adequate recovery, and to ensure that even more head injuries don’t occur if a player goes back on the field too soon after injury.
About: Christensen Law is a personal injury law firm located in Southfield, MI. David Christensen specializes in helping victims of auto and truck accidents. He has more than 25 years of experience helping those injured obtain medical benefits and secure treatment options that allow them to focus on their healing and recovery.