Be Well: Playing it Safe in Youth Sports

sports injuriesA 13-year-old girl playing league soccer tried to head the ball and collided with another player. The opponent’s elbow struck her head, resulting in dizziness, headaches, and the inability to focus. It appeared that she had a concussion.

But the teen’s care team knew to look for additional injuries because people who suffer concussions often experience whiplash, too. That makes it vital to treat both areas to help athletes return to academics and action, says Dr. Jordan Knowlton-Key, a chiropractor and sports fellow at Northwestern Health Sciences University Human Performance Center.

In this athlete’s case, a full neurological and cervical exam of her neck revealed that she had experienced a concussion and whiplash. “They are often paired together,” Dr. Knowlton-Key explains. “While we could treat the concussion and return her to activity and play, some of her pain and dizziness came from her neck. If that wasn’t treated, too, she would have prolonged signs and symptoms of injury.”

Read on for tips on concussion care and more at Minneapolis.St.Paul Magazine!