It is that time of year again: the leaves begin to fall, the weather turns a bit chilly, and…football reigns supreme. Many of us look forward to watching our favorite teams hit the fields and impress us with their talents and aggressive hits. But it is those hits, which get harder as players continue to get bigger, which can cause head injuries. Head injuries are particularly devastating because the brain damage caused by a concussion or a momentary blackout may take years to show up. For example, Alzheimer’s and similar memory-related diseases appear in retired NFL players 19 times the normal rate for men 30-49 years old. Players who suffered concussions are more likely to suffer from depression as well; one poignant example of this was the highly publicized suicide of retired NFL player Junior Seau.
The mounting evidence of the damage done by repeated head trauma to players led to a lawsuit filed by retired NFL players against the league. The lawsuit was settled with the NFL agreeing to establish a fund for medical exams and to underwrite research for concussion-related brain injuries.
Sports injuries are not just for players on teams of contact sports, warns your Denver personal injury lawyer. In fact, one of the biggest areas of growth in sports-related injuries occurs in people who are between the ages of 35-54, and those referred to as “baby boomers.” In an effort to shed pounds and stay fit, the weekend warriors just entering middle age suffered some 2.5 million sports-related injuries in 2006. Boomers trying to remain active in such sports as biking, swimming, hiking, and running suffered 1 million sports-related injuries in 1998, up 33 percent from 1991. Moreover, boomers’ medical costs from sports injuries totaled a whopping $18.7 billion. Their sports-related injuries are now the number two reason for boomers going to the doctor.
Staying active, losing extra weight, and participating in activities that teach discipline, leadership, and socialization are all good things. So how do we prevent the occurrence of injuries from turning them into bad experiences? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some good suggestions:
- Gear up: use the right protective gear, such as helmets, wrist guards, knee or
elbow pads, shin guards, etc
- Use the right stuff: be sure the gear is in good condition and worn correctly
- Practice makes perfect: practice the skills you need for the sport you will be participating in; slowly and safely increase activity levels as fitness increases
- Pay attention to the temperature: avoid dehydration by drinking a lot and dressing appropriately.
Sports are fun to watch, fun to do, and good for your health–unless you suffer repeated head traumas, broken bones, sprained ankles, or a jab to the eye. Then you may need help from a Denver personal injury lawyer who can evaluate whether your injury was caused due to a fellow player intending to cause harm, a defect in your protective gear, or negligence in not ensuring enough hydration and rest on an extremely hot day. Call our attorneys at Levine Law today for a free consultation.