Over the years we have started to learn more about the dangers of concussions and the negative consequences they can have on athletes, especially in the long term. But instead of focusing on athletes who only suffer from concussions, Researchers at the University of Toronto decided to look at athletes who suffered from other types of injuries, such as breaks and sprains.
Published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, this research looks at ANY injury in an athlete and what happens to their thinking after the injury has occurred. Researchers wondered if it wasn’t only concussions and head trauma that could affect thinking, but also other injuries.
Researchers at the University of Toronto administered a 20-minute computer test to 72 athletes, some of whom had had a concussion within the past few days and others who had had other types of sports injury. They found that all these athletes, even those with non-head injuries, did worse on their tests than the healthy control comparisons.
While the athletes with non-head injuries didn’t do as poorly as those with head injury, those athletes with other injuries still did show markers of disordered thinking. This raises the question of whether athletes should go right back into the game with an injury, even if it may seem as minor as an ankle sprain. This research tells us that parents, coaches and players need to pay extra close attention to injuries of all types, not just those obvious ones to the head.