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Brain Injuries in Sports: Prevention & Impact Guide

Ramin Ansari MD
Medically reviewed by Ramin Ansari
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Ramin Ansari MD
Medically reviewed by Ramin Ansari

In sports, where triumphs and defeats collide in thrilling contests, a silent adversary often lurks beneath the surface: сranial trauma. Athletes of all ages and backgrounds constantly risk traumatic brain injury (TBI). We will be your compass in the complex topic of traumatic brain injuries in sports.

Such injuries are prevalent in the field of sports. This industry has an increased risk of receiving any physical injuries, including craniocerebral injuries. Often, after such an injury, athletes recover for a long time. So, we will find out how to effectively treat such damage and how to prevent it.

We will embark on a journey that highlights the staggering statistics and potential consequences and the latest advances in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies. We will explore how technology, education, and advocacy shape a safer future for athletes worldwide.

Develop a culture of awareness, safety, and sustainability in the world of sport with us. Together, we can champion the cause of protecting the minds behind the games we love.

Why are Brain Injuries in Sports so Common?

Traumatic cerebrum injuries during sports are pretty common due to several interrelated factors:

  • The physical nature of sport. Many sports involve physical contact, collisions, and high-speed movements. This increases the risk of head injuries. Sports such as American football, rugby, boxing, and hockey are mainly known for their physicality.
  • Competition. The competitive nature of sports often forces athletes to take risks and push their limits. This can lead to more frequent accidents and injuries, including head injuries.
  • Insufficient education. Athletes, coaches, and parents may sometimes need to be adequately informed about the risks of head injuries. It is also essential to recognize and respond to them. Ignorance can lead to underreporting of injuries and inadequate care.
  • Insufficient protective equipment. Many sports provide protective equipment. But it may not always be enough to prevent head injuries. Helmets, for example, can reduce the risk of serious head injury. But they cannot wholly exclude him.
  • Application of rules. The application of rules and penalties for dangerous plays or hits may vary from one sport to another. Inconsistent law enforcement can contribute to developing a culture of aggression.
  • Youth sports. Traumatic brain injuries in sports are not limited to professional athletes. They are also found in youth sports. Young athletes may be less experienced and more prone to accidents.
  • A culture of endurance. In some sporting cultures, perseverance and the feeling of pain are emphasized. This can prevent athletes from reporting head injuries or seeking immediate medical attention.

So, the prevalence of such injuries in sports is understandable. We should know which head injuries occur in players and how to prevent them.

the athlete and the doctor analyze MRI images

Types of Sports Head Injuries

Head injuries are a severe concern in various sports. These injuries can have serious consequences, both short-term and long-term. This dramatically affects the health and performance of the athlete.

Common types of sports head injuries include traumatic brain injury (TBI). Concussions are also prevalent and can cause a variety of symptoms. This makes their rapid diagnosis and treatment crucial. Additionally, more severe head injuries, such as skull fractures and hematomas, can result from a high-impact collision and require immediate medical attention. Facial fractures are also often associated with sports incidents. They can have significant consequences for an athlete’s facial function and appearance.

Understanding these types of sports head injuries is essential for athletes and coaches. This will help them take preventive measures and provide appropriate care. So, let’s take a closer look at these injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a severe injury to the brain. It can occur during sports due to a sudden blow, push, or blow to the head. TBI can range from mild to severe. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms. This includes loss of consciousness, memory problems, changes in mood or behavior.


Concussions are one of the most common types of head injuries in sports. They are considered mild brain injuries in sports. Trauma occurs due to a sudden and decisive blow to the head. This causes the brain to move inside the skull. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, and sensitivity to light. Athletes with a concussion must receive timely medical care.

Skull Fracture

A skull fracture occurs when there is a break or cracks in the bone of the skull. A significant blow to the head usually causes this type of injury and can be severe. Symptoms may include swelling, bruising, pain at the site of the damage, and bleeding. Immediate medical attention is crucial for skull fractures.


A hematoma is a collection of blood outside the blood vessels. Hematoma of the head can often occur in sports. This happens when blood accumulates in the brain tissue or between the brain and the skull. Depending on the location and size of the hematoma, it can be life-threatening and require surgical intervention.

Facial Fractures

Facial fractures are not a direct head injury. They are often found in contact sports. Such injuries can occur as a result of blows to the face. These fractures may involve the bones of the nose, cheekbones, jaws, or eye sockets. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, deformity, and difficulty moving the affected facial features. A quick examination by a medical professional is essential to assess the extent of the injury.

Athletes, coaches, and sports organizations need to rank safety and take steps to prevent head injuries during sports.

Football Brain Injuries

There are several head injuries and neurological problems that athletes in this sport can experience. This happens due to frequent and robust collisions during games and training.

One of the main problems is chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It is a degenerative brain condition associated with repeated head trauma. Trauma can lead to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional changes. They often do not become apparent until years after the injury. This has dramatically increased awareness of the long-term effects of playing football.

In addition, sport related concussions are common in football. These minor head injuries can occur due to grabs, collisions, or blows to the head. Proper diagnosis and adherence to return-to-play protocols are critical to player safety.

Football organizations have implemented various measures to reduce the risk of cerebrum injuries. These include improved helmet technology, rule changes, and educational programs. However, understanding brain injuries in football remains essential to player safety.

Boxing Brain Damage

Boxing is a combat sport that involves deliberate punches. It poses a brain hazard due to repeated blows to the head and face.

Boxing-related brain damage primarily manifests as chronic traumatic brain injury (CTB). It includes conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a neurodegenerative disease associated with repeated head trauma. Several cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms characterize it. It has attracted considerable attention in recent years due to its connection to several high-profile cases in boxing.

Boxers are susceptible to acute cerebrum injuries such as sport-related concussions. They can be the result of solid blows to the head. These injuries can have immediate consequences and require medical attention and recovery time.

Efforts to mitigate boxing brain damage include improved safety measures. Among them are better protective headgear, rule changes, and increased medical supervision. However, understanding the risks associated with boxing’s brain damage is vital.

American football athlete on the field

Prevention and Safety Measures

Prevention of head injuries is of primary importance for the well-being of athletes. Implementation of effective preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries. For this, you can use.

Protective equipment

Helmets In contact sports such as football, hockey, and cycling, wearing helmets is essential. Helmets are designed to absorb impact and protect the skull and brain.

Caps Mouthguards can prevent dental injuries and, to some extent, reduce the risk of sport-related concussions.

Changes to the rules

Sports organizations must constantly evaluate and update the rules. These changes may include harsher penalties for dangerous play or modifications to gameplay.

Education and training

Athletes, coaches, and officials should be trained to recognize the symptoms of head injuries. For example, proper tackling techniques in soccer can reduce risks.

It is essential to encourage a culture where athletes report injuries and symptoms.

Medical evaluation and return-to-play protocols

After a head injury, athletes must undergo a thorough medical examination. This ensures that players only return to action once they have fully recovered.

Research and technologies

Ongoing research into helmet technology may lead to the development of safer equipment and playing conditions.

Prevention and security measures should be the result of joint efforts. Both coaches and athletes need to take care of them.


Sports-related head injuries are a significant concern in various sports disciplines. These injuries can have far-reaching consequences for athletes. This affects their well-being and long-term health.

Understanding the types of head injuries is vital for athletes, coaches, and sports organizations. This knowledge forms the basis for implementing effective preventive and safety measures. These include protective equipment, rule changes, education, and medical evaluation.

Preventing sports head injuries is a matter of individual safety and collective responsibility. Athletes and their coaches should work on this.

If such injuries occur, it is essential to seek help in time. Specialists from Lonestar Neurology will help you with this. We will not only provide timely treatment but also help with preventive examinations. 

Athletes should consult doctors regularly. Head injuries may not manifest themselves at first. Some consequences show themselves after several years. Therefore, if you have the slightest suspicion, contact us. We will conduct all the necessary examinations and, if necessary, prescribe the required treatment. So, apply!


What are the most common sports head injuries?

The most common sports head injuries include traumatic brain injury (TBI):

  • concussion,
  • skull fractures,
  • hematomas,
  • facial fractures.

Why is boxing linked to brain damage more than other sports?

Boxing involves repeated blows to the head. This can lead to chronic brain injury. This is how regular traumatic encephalopathy develops.

What are the long-term effects of football brain injuries?

Long-term effects of head injuries in football can include:

  • cognitive impairment,
  • memory problems
  • mood swings,
  • increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

These effects may become apparent years after the injury.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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