A major cause of concussions is because players are not using safe protective equipment. In this day and age the technology in sports equipment is state of the art. While the training is getting more advanced, players are getting bigger and stronger. Therefore, the equipment technology is getting more advanced as well. The problem with it is that it is bulky and ugly. Players don’t want to wear big bulky helmets due to the fact that they are not the best looking . Players like to use their older style helmets that they think have good style and that they are used to. This old technology in helmets is outdated and plays a huge role in concussion numbers. Another similar example of this is shoulder pads. Athletes like the smaller lighter style pads so they are more agile. The downfall of this is when they do make contact with a 200 pound opponent it causes serious shoulder trauma. The number two most common injury in contact sports are acromioclavicular (AC) joint separations. This could easily be prevented with the proper use of protective equipment. Athletes are just too stubborn to adapt to the new style. An AC joint separation or AC joint sprain is an injury to the ligament that holds the acromioclavicular joint together at the top of the shoulder. It is usually caused by fall or blow onto an outstretched arm. The Sports Injury Clinic explains to us that AC joint sprains range from very mild to a severe injury. Early treatment and support through taping is important to avoid long term problems or shoulder deformity. Symptoms of this type of injury include pain right at the end of the collar bone on the top of the shoulder. The pain may be widespread throughout the shoulder initially but later on more localized to a bony point on the top of the shoulder. Pain will be worse when trying to move the arm overhead and there is often swelling and depending on the extent of the injury a deformity may be seen in the form of an obvious lump on top of the shoulder joint. Acromioclavicular joint separations are graded one to six with grade one being mild with only minor ligament damage and no separation of the bones while grade 6 is a severe injury with complete ruptures of the ligaments and visible deformity. In most cases this is treated solely by resting the shoulder for six to eight weeks. “Sudden Onset” explains the injury in depth. The problem is that players would rather fight through the pain of the injury and continue to play. This causes big problems later down the road. There should be more strict regulations on the return time of known injured players. It should be left to a higher authority to clear them, allowing the Injured player to return playing full contact. If the injury does not heal correctly, a serious surgery is required to fix the damaged ligaments. Similar to the ACL tear, there is an extreme physical therapy treatment required to rehabilitate the shoulder.
Along with the concussion issue, I can also relate to the AC joint separation dilemma. In my years of ice hockey, I have suffered from two AC joint separations in both of my shoulders. This constant beating on my abused shoulders is what ultimately ended my hockey career. All of my coaches and scouts had big plans for me after collegiate hockey but unfortunately due to the neglect to my injured body parts, my career came to an abrupt ending. All of my dreams went down the tubes. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of your injuries in the proper manner and not rush right back into the game. Doctors get paid a high salary to figure out what the necessary precautions are for your injury, you should listen to them before you lose your chance at the game you love.