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Sports Concussion Program at Mary Free Bed

Created in 1995, athletes who suffer suspected sports concussions receive priority scheduling. It’s especially important to diagnose and treat concussions in children, teens, and young adults to ensure normal brain development and avoid long term subtle disabilities. 

About Mary Free Bed Sports Concussion

Sports concussion team members at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital have specialty training in concussion treatment and use leading edge technology and techniques.

Professionals from many fields work closely together for patient evaluations and treatment, such as:

  • Physiatrists specializing in brain injury
  • Therapists
    • Physical therapists
    • Occupational therapists
    • Speech/language pathologists
    • Recreational therapists
  • Pain specialists
  • Neuropsychologists and psychologists
  • Assistive technology
  • Driver rehabilitation
  • Vocational rehabilitation

Dr. Steve Bloom is the Medical Director of Mary Free Bed’s Brain Injury Program as well as the Sports Concussion Program.

Concussions are Brain Injuries

The adult brain is a three pound organ that basically floats in cerebral spinal fluid, which acts as a shock absorber for minor impacts. When an athlete’s head is struck, the brain can crash into the skull, but it can also twist or stretch. These injuries disrupt the normal balance of chemicals in the brain – especially in glucose levels – which cause the symptoms and cognitive problems.

Sports Concussions Facts

Young Brains
Younger athletes are more vulnerable to sports concussions.  The brain continues to develop until the age of 25, so it’s important to treat concussions in young athletes to ensure normal brain growth and development.

Females vs. Males
Studies suggest females are twice as likely to sustain a sport concussion as males. Soccer is the most common sport with concussion risk for females with a 50% chance of concussions. For males, there is a 75% chance for concussions in football. Other contact sports with large number of concussions are boxing, hockey, and lacrosse.

Sport Concussion Symptoms

Approximately 47% of athletes do not report feeling any symptoms after a concussive blow and fewer than 10% of sports-related concussions involve a loss of consciousness (e.g., blacking out, seeing stars, etc.)

Headache (85%) and Dizziness (70-80%) are most commonly reported. Additional symptoms include:

  • Nausea/Vomiting Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Tearfulness/Sadness
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Increased sleep
  • Decreased sleep
  • Feeling "foggy"
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor memory/concentration
© 2015 Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital., Grand Rapids, MI | 1.855.MFB.REHAB
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