Last week the NFL, after two months of negotiations, settled with more than 4,500 former NFL players in their joint lawsuit involving concussion-related injuries. In the wake of the $765.0 million settlement, the NFL has successfully delayed having to seriously deal with its growing concussion issue. This is a small price to pay to avoid confronting the fact that they have been ignoring a major health issue affecting their employees.
While the NFL has managed to avoid the issue, concussions are a growing concern. While you may hear about concussions happening to athletes in professional sports like hockey, boxing, and, of course, football, traumatic brain injury (TBI) isn’t exclusive to athletes.
The leading cause of concussions is falls, which are particularly common among adults aged 65 years and older, with those 75 and older representing the highest rate. For teens and young adults aged 15 to 34, they’re likely to suffer from concussions due to motor vehicle crashes and assaults.
In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that over 2.4 million visits to the ER, hospitalizations, or deaths were linked to one TBI or another. It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans are living with a disability as a result of a TBI. In 2010, the costs of TBIs were estimated at $76.5 billion, with $11.5 billion going to direct medical costs and the remaining $64.8 billion to indirect costs like lost income and productivity.
Concussions can be caused by a direct hit to the head or can occur without any direct impact to the head at all. A hard enough blow to the chest can cause a whiplash effect on the brain. Most concussions occur without any loss of consciousness.
The most frequent symptoms of concussions are headaches, dizziness, nausea, and imbalance. What’s important to note is that only one symptom is needed for a concussion diagnosis. It is also extremely important to recognize the dangers following a concussion and what symptoms should be seen as a medical emergency.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should make your way to the ER at the nearest hospital:
- A headache that gets continually worse
- Slurred speech
- One pupil larger than the other or other visual disturbances
- Change in sleeping pattern—such as sleeping more than normal
- Confusion and restlessness
With that being said, there are naturopathic medicines that can offer natural ways to help the tissues heal after a concussion.
- Arnica Montana: Most of us are familiar with arnica cream which is used for muscle pain, joint pain, sports injuries, bruising, and post-surgical inflammation. However, arnica also comes in tablet form, which contains arnica solution watered down hundreds of times to form a homeopathic pill to help expedite the healing of bruised brain tissue.
- Drink lots of fluids: Ensure that your body is well-hydrated, as it will allow for more rapid healing of the brain.
- Load up on blueberries: Blueberries contain potent flavonoid antioxidants that help to strengthen blood vessel walls, including in the brain.
- Double up on fish oil: Take up to four grams immediately after the injury and continue taking four grams once every day for a week. This helps decrease inflammation in the brain.
The truth of the matter is that concussions will occur in life. The most important thing is recognizing the symptoms right away and then actually addressing it accordingly.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Felt, H., “Concussions lawsuit settlement lets NFL off the hook,” The Guardian web site, August 30, 2013; http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/aug/30/nfl-concussion-lawsuit-settlement-off-the-hook
Zanfardino, R., “Traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. affect over 5 million people, cost over $76 billion,” Health News Observer web site; http://www.healthnewsobserver.com/articles/detail/traumatic-brain-injuries-in-the-u.s.-affect-over-5-million-people-cost-over
“How to Help Your Brain Heal – Natural Healing for Concussion,” Natural Health Center web site; http://steelsmithhealth.com/how-to-help-your-brain-heal-natural-healing-for-concussion/