30 March 2015
Eric Small MD One Of Four Featured Speakers At Sports Panel Workshop On Concussions
Westchester Health Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist Shared Concussion Data, Recommendations
Katonah, NY, March 30, 2015 — February 27th, 2015, Eric Small MD, a sports medicine specialist with Westchester Health Pediatrics, was one of four featured speakers at the New York State High School Athletic Association Section 1 Safety Workshop, a NYS mandated yearly workshop for High School Athletic Directors.
The panel was comprised of a sports medicine specialist (Dr. Small), a neuropsychologist, a high school athletic trainer and a high school football coach. The focus of the annual workshop was sports concussions.
Dr. Small’s inclusion on the panel was especially advantageous, as his medical practice focuses on sports injuries and concussion management.
A past chairman of the AAP Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness, Dr. Small is active in creating national and state policy regarding concussions. In addition, Dr. Small has been named “Sports Medicine Best Doctor” by New York Magazine and Westchester Magazine every year since 2007.
Issues discussed during the workshop ranged from students returning to athletics too quickly from being concussed to New York State’s concussion policy. Topics also included a monitoring system and protocol for return to play.
Of particular focus was the fact that of all age groups, high school-age adolescents take the longest to recover from concussions. The panel also stressed that protocols for concussion recovery now include the resuming of activity in order to increase blood flow to the brain. In the past, inactivity was the prescribed formula for recovery.
During his presentation, Dr. Small provided an informative range of statistical data. “Overwhelmingly,” he said, “90% of concussed athletes show symptoms on the day the injury occurs, while up to 10% show symptoms up to one week later.” These percentages suggest that coaches, trainers and parents must observe their children’s behavior beyond Day One, he stated.
Dr. Small also emphasized that even though the majority of concussions present symptoms soon after occurrence, recovery rates vary a great deal. He cited a recent Ohio State University study which concluded that for children under 16 years of age — the slowest age group to recover from concussions — 50% had complete recovery in 10 days or less, 40% in 10-30 days and 10% did not recover within the 30-day window.
Addressing how to reduce the probability of concussions, the high school athletic trainer on the panel stated that weight lifting to strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles can help reduce the whiplash effect associated with head trauma that can lead to concussions.
Expanding on this evidence, Dr. Small added that a growing number of female soccer players are being concussed, due to the fact that females generally have weaker neck and shoulder muscles. To counteract this muscular vulnerability, weight training has had a positive preventative effect, he said.
For more information regarding sports medicine, physical fitness and/or concussions, Dr. Small can be contacted by calling (914) 666-7900.
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