Three weeks off posting and now I’m breaking myself back in gently after slamming my head so hard I bruised my forehead through a D3 helmet…..in view of the circumstances, concussion’s probably a good place to start.
The week of the Losinj World Cup seemed to have a concussion theme as, in addition to my accident:
Katy Curd returned to the downhill world cup after a year long layoff with concussion,
Claudio Calouri came off while doing his course preview giving himself a concussion.
So what is concussion?
Concussion is essentially an injury to your brain.
In the same way that if you sprain your ankle or burn your arm or cut your hand or have any other injury to your body, it’ll leave you with an area of damage and a lot of swelling (the technical term for the swelling being inflammation).
A standard inflammatory process will generally settle in 4-6 weeks but depending on the amount of inflammation this may take longer.
The other thing to consider alongside the inflammation is that there is the inital area of damage. Ongoing problems after the inflammation period are likely to relate to persisting damage to that area.
Below is a link to an excellent TED presentation by Clifford Robbins on concussion and it’s effects.
When you’re pushing your limits in any extreme sport you are eventually going to sustain injuries…….the important part, particularly when it comes to concussion, is to realise that life isn’t like the movies and injuries need time to settle. The difficult bit with concussion is that you can’t see the damage/inflammation to prompt you to rest.
There’s more to come on this subject over the next days and weeks.
If you’re going to take the time to practice, practice like the elite.