A Word on Obama’s Summit on Concussion Safety
I was watching the late news and there were three reports about a “New” topic: Sports Concussion and the Obama Summit on Concussion Safety. I’ve been a board certified Sports Psychologist for 37 years, and am a survivor of three concussions. For many of us, concussions in sports are not new and have been misdiagnosed for decades. In the past two months I’ve written extensive blog posts for Psychology Today. In several of these posts, on my website, and in a major part of my newest book, Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, I focus on sports injury and concussion-related questions. How often is a concussion misdiagnosed? When should a child start contact sports? If a child is injured, how do they get a proper diagnosis. Once diagnosed, what are the treatments for post-concussion syndrome (PCS)?
I spent two and half years researching methods of diagnosing every known symptom of PCS along with conventional, complementary and alternative approaches for treatment and helping a person regain their life after a concussion. However, even my book is for a generic person and is not personalized. Since I believe in treating the individual and not just the symptom, I developed my 5 prong approach to help provide specific methods and treatment for each person. As part of this approach, I have an integrative team of clinicians.
Yet, every 13 seconds there is another sports concussion somewhere in the world, and my team can’t help everyone. Therefore, I have developed a network of integrative clinicians across the US and the world, so through my consults I’m able to help others like myself regain their lives.
Now, if only the US government and insurance companies would pay for the services we would be able to help many people. Instead, most people’s insurance premiums and deductibles have increased, and many of the services that were once reimbursable are no longer, or they are with a limited number of visits, including physical therapy.
So, as I welcome the new focus on concussion, it does nothing if coaches do not realize that some children should not be playing football. And if children are playing more sports, then the insurance companies must be willing to cover the symptoms of PCS, including problems with attention, focus, memory and sleep disturbances.