Posted on February 26th, 2021
LACROSSE IS THE 3RD HIGHEST SPORT BEHIND FOOTBALL & HOCKEY FOR RISKS OF CONCUSSIONS
Femaie and Male Lacrosse Players Face Different Risks, But Concussions and Head Injuries Are The Most Common. Become Familiar With The Risks, Signs & Symptoms of Lacrosse-Related Concussions!
Lacrosse has captured immense popularity over the past two decades and is the fastest growing sport in North America. An intense, fast-paced, technical and phyiscal sport, lacrosse is enjoyable for the players and the spectators.
Alongside the spike in lacrosse participation and popularity now with 5 total professional lacrosse leagues between the men and women, a concurrent rise in lacrosse-related injuries has likewise occurred. In particular, the occurrence of lacrosse concussions has proven to be serious. According to the most recent lacrosse concussion statistics, the risk of experiencing a concussion playing lacrosse is considerable: On average, 40-46 boys and 31-35 girls suffer a concussion playing lacrosse per 100,000 athletic exposures.
These statistics demonstrate that, in terms of concussions, lacrosse injuries vs other sports are exceptionally high; of assessed sports, only ice hockey and football have a higher rate of sports concussions. While lacrosse concussions vs football may still be lower, lacrosse is newer as a mainstream sport and lacrosse-related risks and injuries are less well-studied and understood. That’s why we have compiled this overview of the risks, signs & symptoms of experiencing a concussion playing lacrosse.
RISKS & SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF LACROSSE-RELATED CONCUSSIONS
As noted, lacrosse head injury statistics demonstrate a very real risk of concussions with male players facing a 50% higher chance of risk--but what specific elements of this game are threatening players? Let’s examine three specific risks that can result in a concussion playing lacrosse.
1. Body Checks:
A major cause for the higher concussion rates in men’s lacrosse is the allowance of body checks similar to hockey. The best way to prevent these injuries is to always use protective equipment; helmets with face guards, shoulder pads, gloves, and mouthpieces are mandatory. Elbow pads and protective genital cups are also recommended
2. Unprotected Contact:
While women’s lacrosse does not permit checking-type contact, unintentional or aggressive contact is partially responsible for the number of injuries shown in women’s lacrosse concussion statistics. These injuries can be prevented by strictly enforcing a no-body-checks policy and making sure that all stick-checks are aimed away from other players’ heads and bodies.
3. Ball to Head Collisions:
Lacrosse balls are hard and are thrown with immense velocity--in fact, the fastest recorded lacrosse shot was propelled at a speed of 114mph. Promoting careful aim and maintaining a cautious awareness of one’s personal surroundings is critical; during competitive matches, when energy and exhilaration cause players to lose certain precautions and place full focus elsewhere, ball-to-face injuries are much more common.
If you are a parent, coach or a player, familiarity with the common signs and symptoms of sports-related injuries will help you better understand the condition and to get the proper treatment. Early detection allows patients to begin treatment early and reduce long-term risks and complications. Below are the 5 typical signs and 5 typical symptoms:
5 TYPICAL SIGNS OF A CONCUSSION (OBSERVED BY OTHERS):
- Appears Dazed
- Moves Clumsily
- Answers Questions Slowly
- Unsure of Game, Score or Opponent
- Shows Mood, Behavior or Personality Changes
5 TYPICAL SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION (REPORTED & FELT BY THE ATHLETE):
- Memory Loss
- Heacache, Dizziness, Nausea
- UBlurred Vision, Sensitivity to Light & Ringing in Ears
- Loss of Coordination or Balance
It is critical that you undergo an examination by a doctor or specialist to analyze the severity of an injury and any possible complications that need to be treated if you, a loved one or a player who coach has experienced these symptoms.
The devastating effects of repeated concussions and failure to adequately prevent and treat these injuries have begun to become a topic for national discussion in the past few years-and while much of that attention has been tailored towards football consussions, other high-impact sports such as hockey and lacrosse demand similar preventions and treatment measures. Helmet rules implemented for girls lacrosse is a step in the right direction but there needs to be more.
-Resources: Sports Society, RCSS, USL
-Contributed by Tom Michaelsen of Back of The CAGE