Tag Archives: neck pain

Concussions and Young Athletes

August 16, 2013 by

Here’s a question for parents—Can you describe a concussion? It’s more than a headache or a momentary blackout. Doctors consider it a traumatic brain injury, ranging from mild to severe, caused by a blow or jolt to the head. With young athletes back on the field, Kody Moffatt, M.D., a pediatrician and sports medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, wants parents, coaches, and trainers to know the signs.

“We know much more about concussions today than we did even a year or two ago. A concussion in a child or teenager is different than in an adult. The impact on the developing brain can be a real problem,” says Dr. Moffatt.

Football poses a risk, particularly when players tackle with their heads down.

“I tell parents that football, in general, is a safe sport as long as young people don’t lead with the head,” he explains. “Coaches in our area have been really good about teaching young, developing players to use the shoulder or chest as the first point of contact.”

Symptoms of a concussion are as individual as children themselves. Visible signs of a suspected concussion are:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slow to get up
  • Unsteady on feet, falling over, or trouble balancing
  • Dazed or blank look
  • Confused, not able to remember plays or events

Dr. Moffatt says athletes with a suspected concussion should not return to the field. They need to see a doctor. Immediate emergency care should be provided when the player is vomiting, has a seizure, experiences neck pain, is increasingly confused, or is unable to stay awake.

Nationally and across all levels of play, from professional to recreational leagues, the emphasis has been on “return to play.” This focus surrounds the safe return to the game following diagnosis and treatment. This fall, “return to learn” will receive increased attention, too.

“Before young athletes are returning to play, we need to get them back in the classroom symptom-free and able to learn like they did before the concussion,” says Dr. Moffatt. “We have to keep in mind that we’re dealing with a brain injury. This can result in learning problems that impact a student athlete’s academic performance.”

The new Sports Medicine Clinic at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center will work with student athletes, their families, and teachers to customize a “return to learn” plan. Dr. Moffatt considers it to be an important part of the recovery process.

“Return to learn is a significant step, in my mind. We’re considering cognitive function and how we help the brain heal,” he says. “We’ll work with schools to help kids get back on track in the classroom.”

The Sports Medicine Clinic at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is open to families by appointment. No physician referral is needed. To make an appointment, call 402-955-PLAY (7529). For more information, visit ChildrensOmaha.org/SportsMedicine.

Passionate about pediatric sports medicine, Dr. Kody Moffatt is a highly regarded, well-known expert in the field. An athletic trainer turned pediatrician, he holds a Master of Science degree in orthopaedic surgery and is a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Moffatt helps shape sports medicine policy on a state and national level as an advisor to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Nebraska High School Activities Association.

Office Seating

November 25, 2012 by

When it comes to your office chair, one size does not fit all. Chairs are the most personal piece of office furniture—and the most complex—because they must adapt to all kinds of people and many types of work.

If you sit behind a desk regularly, you know how important it is to have a good chair. Many of us spend more hours in our office chair than all the other chairs and sofas in our life combined. Not having the right chair can cause lower back pain, as well as neck and shoulder pain.

Studies have linked the comfort of a workplace directly to the efficiency levels of employees and employee turnover. In an average day, people spend 5.7 hours sitting in their chair and 7 hours sleeping in their bed. If you’re one of those people who spend hours in a chair, below are some guidelines to healthy seating.

  • Raise or lower your seat so your thighs are parallel to the floor and your feet are flat on the floor or a footrest.
  • Adjust the depth of your seat pan so you have at least 2” of clearance between the back of your knees and the front of the seat.
  • Adjust the height of your backrest so it fits comfortably on the small of your back.
  • Adjust your chair’s recline tension—if necessary—to support varying degrees of recline. Avoid using recline locks.
  • Lean back and relax in your chair to allow the backrest to provide full support for your upper body.

Remember, a quality chair should always have a lifetime warranty on the frame and mechanical parts and a 5- to 10-year warranty on fabric.

Stop by All Makes Office Equipment Co. at 25th & Farnam streets to see what’s new in the office. The All Makes team is trained to help you make design and furniture purchases that fit your office atmosphere, your work style, and your budget.