Are Concussions Sexist?

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Did you know, that young female athletes’ symptoms linger from concussions longer than young male athletes do?

A study by orthopedic specialists from Cooper University and Rothman Institute compares the traumatic effects of concussions in both males and females. The ages range from 11 to 18 years.

Studies show many sports-related concussions get better on their own, within 7-10 days. However, most of the subjects in these studies were adult men.

It is important to note that the recovery we are comparing is only symptom recovery. This is only one layer of the healing process. These studies do not take into account the compromising of spinal structural integrity, or the emotional and mental recovery process.

Concussion Symptoms

The most common injuries that athletes sustain are concussions. Symptoms vary greatly. They can remain for as little as a week, but can also result in lifelong damage. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Balance issues
  • Irritability
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Numbness

Long-term, chronic traumatic stresses are referred to as post-concussion syndrome. In this stage, the symptoms last beyond 12 weeks. It is important for a chiropractor to evaluate the injured spine. This is to ensure that a person does not go through post-concussion syndrome, nor have long-term effects from the trauma. It is best to have an evaluation immediately following the trauma.

What Does The Study Conclude?

In this particular study, they compared boys and girls concussion symptoms. First of all, the girls’ symptoms lasted longer than the boys’ symptoms. Also, male athletes’ symptoms, on average, lasted less than half as long as the symptoms of the female athletes. Here’s why:

  • “Females may be at higher risk for concussions because their necks are smaller and do not absorb shock as well as the necks of males.”
  • “Female athletes might exhibit prolonged impairments compared with male athletes because females have a greater basal rate of glucose metabolism.”
  • Although most children recover within 4 weeks of the concussion injury, the most recent study (2016), states that it takes more time for children to recover from a concussion than it takes for adults. No parent would want their child to suffer for 4 weeks, therefore proper spinal care is essential to reduce symptoms quickly.

Not surprising: for male athletes, football is the most common sport associated with concussions. In female athletes, soccer is the most common.

How Chiropractic BioPhysics Helps with Concussions

Soccer concussions

A chiropractor, specifically one advanced certified in a spinal-corrective specialty called Chiropractic BioPhysics(CBP), is clinically trained to determine if the spine is in the proper position after the trauma to ensure that it heals in the proper position. Also, a CBP chiropractor can screen for ligament injury/instability, which is an often-missed, yet critical aspect of the healing process.

Therefore, taking structure and instability into account during the healing process allows the body to function at its best. In addition, it also allows it to heal in the best way possible to avoid lingering negative effects. If the spine is not in the proper position, a customized treatment plan put in place speeds up full recovery.

Spine Care

If your children play sports, you may be unaware of the damage and stress to their spines. Sports are obviously an important outlet for children. That said, their health has to come first. Bring them to a CBP athletic chiropractor and get their spines checked. This should be done periodically for optimal spinal health, maximum performance, and safety. Make sure you include this to ensure that you are doing everything you can to keep your children safe.

If you, or someone you care about, are suffering from a concussion, or post-concussive syndrome, have long-lasting effects from a concussion that are not resolving, or have questions regarding concussion recovery and treatment, please reach out to us at our Tucker locations. We are here to help!

Keep Your Head In The Game: Sports Concussion Review

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association October 2017; Vol. 117; No. 10; pp. 635-642

About the Author
Dr. David A. Shapiro
Dr. David Shapiro, DC, CEO of Complete Spine Solutions

A graduate of Life University, School of Chiropractic 1993 (4600 postgraduate hours). Board-certified licensed Doctor of Chiropractic. Passed 3 national board tests and the state of Georgia board examination. Also certified in therapeutic modalities.

Advanced Certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics, the most evidence-based technique in chiropractic. He’s been in private practice for over 25 years.

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