One of the most feared consequences of any sport is traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Concussions are a form of brain injury resulting from a direct blow or rapid acceleration and deceleration of the brain inside the skull altering the cellular processes in the brain. Concussion or brain injury can occur without direct impact or loss of consciousness. It can result in symptoms that are evident immediately, or may evolve over the course of hours, days, or even months. Perhaps more concerning is that some symptoms are only evident with specific testing or questioning. Furthermore, after an initial injury, the brain is susceptible to repeat injury. Equally important, disequilibrium and slowed reaction times that may be caused by an initial injury increase the athlete’s risk for further head injuries.
By wearing helmets, cyclists significantly decrease their odds of head and skull injury, but cannot prevent concussion completely. Ideally, following any suspected concussion, a properly trained medical staff member would perform a complete neurologic exam. However, teams may not have access to a team physician and the peloton may not wait for this type of thorough investigation. A group of attendees at the recent Medicine of Cycling Conference formed a focus group to put together information for coaches and team managers to increase awareness of concussion and improve safety for cycling athletes.
The concussion guidelines were recently revised by the Medicine of Cycling Concussion/TBI Task force with input from national governing bodies, athletes and other experts in the field. Please take a look at “Concussions in Cycling Consensus Statement 2012”:
Please contact us if you would like to translate the guidelines into your language.
2012 CONCUSSION IN CYCLING EVALUATION CHART: Concussion Assessment Card v1.2 (pdf)
Thank you to Tomer Geminder for his translation of the guidelines into Hebrew.
2012 CONCUSSION IN CYCLING EVALUATION CHART in Hebrew: PDF
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