Competing While Injured: What Are The Risks?

Competing while injured can pose serious, even-life threatening, risks. Two of the most common risks of competing while injured are Second Impact Injuries and Overuse Injuries.

What is Second Impact Syndrome? If a child, or any person, returns to a sport too early after suffering from a head injury such as a concussion, even a slight second blow to the head can set this syndrome into motion and cause irreversible damage. The brain is more susceptible to injury following an initial impact. Because the brain had been previously damaged, a Second Impact could set into a chain of motion causing brain death in as little as three to five minutes. Second impact syndrome has a high fatality rate in children.

In addition, there may be permanent symptoms that affect speech, vision, hearing, smell, social interactions, cognitive ability and sensory ability. Any athlete who demonstrates symptoms of a concussion should immediately stop the activity and seek medical attention.

What are Overuse Injuries? This type of injury is extremely common and often affect the knee, hamstring and rotator cuffs. When muscles get fatigued and overused, they are no longer as effective resulting in weakness, poor flexibility and limited endurance. They are often difficult to diagnose; however, if an athlete is injured and is required to return to the sport too early without giving the injured muscle or tendon the proper time to heal, an overuse injury can occur.

For more information, please visit SportsMD.