A Concussion Discussion - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

A Concussion Discussion

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The past few years has seen a certain topic take over the sports world: Concussions. While they happen in many different sports, most people believe the majority of concussions happen to football players. KULR-8 decided to try and find a comparison between football and wrestling, when it comes to concussions.

K. Izzi McKinney, a sports medicine associate at Billings Clinic, and an athletic trainer at Skyview High School, said concussion rates differ every year, for each sport, and are significantly proportionate to the number of athletes. "Last year, in the reporting through the RIO, which is a high school database for reporting injuries, they recorded 1.1 million athletes participating in football, and of all of those injuries, 26% of those were concussion or head and face related," explained McKinney. In the same study, RIO also looked at nationwide wrestling numbers. The trainer said, "The total number of wrestlers that they had for 2016-2017 was 270,000 with approximately 14.6%."

McKinney also told KULR-8 that football and wrestling cannot be labeled more dangerous than the other. "Each sport has very similar parallels in terms of mechanism of injuries. when you look at football versus wrestling, both sports have a lot of person to person contact and that's actually the leading cause of reported concussions among both sports."

As far as headgear and helmets are concerned, those items have nothing to do with concussion management. McKinney explained, "The football helmet doesn't really stop the brain from shifting inside the skull, which is the mechanism of a concussion, caused by some sort of trauma to either the head or the body. In wrestling, the headgear is actually used to prevent cauliflower ears which is where you can get high friction between the surfaces of the ear and it causes inflammation which produces fluid that turns into cauliflower ear." She also stated that when we look at the overall health and well being of an athlete, it comes from the way athletic departments are run, in terms of having coaches who know what they are doing, having access to sports medicine staff, and having access to strength and conditioning staff.

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