Concussion, and getting back to training

We all know that trauma to the head can be a very serious matter. When we get inside the ring, we would want to score the bull’s eye by landing head shots. Admit it, we are aiming to give them a concussion. However, we should remember that our opponents are aiming the same thing too.

While we have been practising hard in ducking, it is still inevitable to take shots in the head from time to time. While avoiding getting a concussion is possible, we may end up in that state every now and then.

Concussion can be a permanent injury

It does not take a lot of brain (no pun intended) to figure out how dangerous concussions may get. Our brain is the central processing unit of our body. If it goes offline, the body is not going to function very well, or at all. If the brain gets permanently damaged, it may not just the end of our boxing career or hobby. It may probably be the end of our functional lives. It is therefore very important to treat concussions seriously, and progressively return to the gym, and eventually the ring.

The best advice is to rest

If you find yourself diagnosed with concussion, rest is what you really what you need. There is no shortcut to rest. You just have to make the time for it. A good article by Dr Margaret Goodman, MD regarding concussion and rest, can be found here.

Return to training one step at a time

Recovery from a concussion does not need to be about idling about or feeling sorry for yourself. This article atĀ South African Journal of Sports Medicine written by Dr N K Sethi entitledĀ Post-concussion return to boxing protocol advises a protocol in returning to training after a concussion. I quote:

Day 1: Light aerobic activity (walking or stationary bike for 10 minutes, no resistance training)

Day 2: Sport-specific activity (jumping rope, shadow boxing)

Day 3: Non-contact training drills (Skill drills-pad work, speed bag, heavy bag)

Day 4: Full-contact practice (sparring with head gear)

Day 5: Return to boxing (return to competitive boxing occurs when the period of mandatory medical suspension has expired)

It makes a lot of sense. You can’t just lay around wolfing down ice cream while weeping, and the body needs to exercise. Therefore a gradual return to training congruent to the rate of recovery of the brain would be a logical thing to do.

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