Monthly Archives: January 2014

Research Finds Rest Essential for Youth Recovering from a Concussion

iStock_000008340313SmallOften when a kid has a concussion, the first thing they want to do is get back to their routine – returning to school and using familiar electronic devices like computers, smart phones, gaming systems and televisions. But a recent study published in Pediatrics Magazine on January 6 revealed that resuming their everyday life activities too quickly might actually delay recovery. The recommended solution? Youth suffering a concussion should try to rest their brains for a few days before jumping back into their busy lives full-force.

“After a concussion, we recommend rest because kids tend to do too much,” study author, Dr. Naomi Brown, a physician in the division of sports medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told HealthDay.

The study included 335 patients between the ages of 8 and 23 who visited the sports concussion clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital. The study team found that almost half of the children and young adults in the study who didn’t reduce their mental strain took 100 days or longer to completely recover. Almost all participants who cut back the most on their daily mental strain had recovered by 100 days, most within two months.

Co-author Dr. William Meehan said while vigorous mental exertion appeared to be detrimental to recovery, more modest levels of mental effort do not seem to delay recovery. “We recommend a period of near full mental rest after injury – approximately three to five days – followed by a gradual return to full levels of mental activity,” said Meehan, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital.

In the study, participants were asked to describe their symptoms and how much mental work they had done since their last visit. They were given five options for describing their amount of mental work during studies and video games: complete mental rest, minimal mental activity, moderate mental activity, significant mental activity or full mental activity.

Researchers emphasized that only those who reported the highest level mental activity took the longest time to completely recover and parents should take the study’s findings as a reason to keep their child away from mental activities. “If you shut down completely, meaning you don’t go to school or do any reading or screen time, or if you do a little bit less than normal, you recover in the same time period – an average of 20 to 50 days,” Brown said.

The doctor said young people who suffer a concussion should slowly resume standard daily mental activity, possibly working only until symptoms such as headaches begin to appear. “We are not recommending complete abstinence from school, especially after the first week,” she said. “If you go to school for a couple of hours and you are doing OK, then the next day you can go for a little bit more and slowly test it out.”

Brown added that every concussion and every patient is different. For more information, visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia blog.

 


Can Lower Field G-Max Produce Safer Sports Surfaces?

Football playersG-Max might sound like the name of a new character in Marvel’s popular “Avengers” movie franchise. But it’s actually a measurement of acceleration that relates to the maximum force of a collision, gauges the hardness and shock absorption properties of a turf field. With an estimated 10% of concussions and brain injuries incurred during sports are caused by playing surface impacts, the G-Max level on a field matters more than ever before.

Higher G-max numbers mean a player will sustain more force upon impact, increasing the chance of concussive and subconcussive injuries. While pristine natural grass of less than 100 g’s is the ideal playing surface, it is difficult to achieve when athletes practice and play multiple sports on a field for more than 20 hours a week. As a growing number of users turn to synthetic turf for its durability, installing Brock PowerBase underneath those fields ensures fields achieves the less than 120 g’s optimum balance of player safety and field performance. As a point of comparison, ASTM International (formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials) deems any playing field with a G-max exceeding 200 to be unacceptable and is currently considering lowering that standard to 165 g’s in recognition of greater safety benefits.

Recognizing that lowering G-max levels on sports fields can reduce the risk and severity of concussion, Brock International, the sponsor of Safer Sports From the Ground Up, has announced an industry-first Field G-max guarantee of no greater than 120 g’s for the life of a synthetic turf field.  Brock PowerBase, the company’s innovative shock pad and drainage layer used underneath synthetic turf fields, has helped NFL teams, major universities, hundreds of schools and community parks nationwide maximize player safety and field performance.

“We are passionate about improving safety and reducing injuries in sports starting from the ground up,” explained Dan Sawyer, CEO of Brock International. “After a decade in the market, fields with Brock PowerBase have proven to be safer and more durable in all weather conditions, mimicking the 100 g’s levels of perfect natural turf. Athletes of all ages deserve and need that kind of surface to help address the nations’ head injury crisis in sports. That’s why we created this unique Field G-Max guarantee to optimize player safety and field firmness throughout the life of the turf.”

Brock PowerBase is currently installed underneath stadium and practice fields for the San Francisco 49ers, at the Gillette Stadium practice field, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots, the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, the University of Maryland, University of Oregon, Boston College, Boise State, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Stanford and hundreds of high schools and middle schools nationwide. In 2012,  the company launched Brock PowerBase Youth Safety Research (YSR),  the first synthetic turf shock pad engineered specifically to the ideal footing requirements and safety of high school and middle school athletes.

Research firm BioMechanica, LLC studied the estimated risk of head injury on synthetic turf surfaces with Brock underlayment and found the product reduces G-max, which the lab tests indicated should reduce the risk and severity of concussion; provides the same playability as a pristine natural grass field and mitigates field hardening over time. In evaluating Head Injury Criteria (HIC), also known as critical fall height, Sports Labs LLC found that Brock PowerBase offered significant improvement in HIC when compared to a turf field that featured a stone base.

If you’d like to learn more about why lower G-Max levels can help create safer playing fields, contact Brock International at http://brock-international.com/.


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