I was excited to learn last week that Chris Nowinski was coming to Oklahoma to speak about the concussion crisis. Chris is the founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and, while I’ve interacted with him on twitter, I hadn’t ever met him in real life. I was also interested to learn what he had to share.
First there was a press conference. Our current pending concussion legislation in Oklahoma was discussed. Chris said it was a good bill. That it took the best of already exciting bills and added some other, innovative ideas. It is expected to be signed by Governor Fallin this week.
Then it was time for his presentation Solving the Concussion Crisis: Keeping Athletes Safe in Sports. Chris talked about how concussions are an invisible injury that one can play through. They don’t cause pain, like a broken limb, and the symptoms are difficult to diagnose. Nearly one in four concussions are caused by head to ground impact.
Many times, the athletes don’t want to report their symptoms because they don’t want to appear weak or let their team down. In a survey, when concussions were called a “ding” more athletes reported having experienced one.
About the problem, Nowinski said not a whole lot can be done about the problem if we keep hitting people in the head so much.
From his presentation, it was easy to see that education and more understand are key to at least moving in the right direction in the concussion crisis. It was an honor to meet Chris Nowinski.