Teenage athlete injuries proven to have effects later in life

With the higher demand on student athletes from coaches, colleges, and parents, more and more teenagers are being injured, from torn ACLs to concussions.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when a hit to the head causes your brain to slam against your skull.

Some concussions can be life changing. “When I got my concussion I felt lost and I didn’t know what to do. I would love to be able to play soccer again, but it is my health that is on the line and I am just lucky that nothing worse happened,” said junior Morgan Gardner.

According to Science Daily, having concussions in earlier years can have an impact on people later in life, including a decline in attention span and deterioration  in physical and mental performance compared to athletes who have not had a concussion.

Torn cartilage or ligaments can also have lasting effects, increasing the likelihood that an athlete may experience arthritis later on in life, according to the National Center for Sports and Safety.  Arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions your bones wears down, causing the bones to rub against each other.

When it comes to injury, athletes should carefully follow doctor’s orders. Starting to play a sport or train too early can lead to future complications.

Teenagers who experience a concussion should rest from physical activity and also go on “brain rest” to allow the brain time to heal. Brain rest involves taking a break from activities that require concentration like studying, reading, or even watching TV.

Although not all injuries can be prevented, the likeliness of getting one can be reduced. “There are prevention techniques that McNicholas sports teams are beginning to use, especially in soccer, such as balance and plyometric exercises,” said McNicholas High School athletic trainer Cathy Conly.

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