High school football players report that while they are aware of the risks of concussions and head injuries associated with sports, they often do not inform their coaches when they receive an injury or experience concussion-like symptoms. In a recent survey of 120 high school football players, over half stated that they continue to play after experiencing a head injury and resulting headaches. Players often do not want to be sidelined or let their team down, so they avoid addressing what could be a serious injury and may lead to cognitive dysfunction down the road. Researchers are continually trying to find ways to improve diagnoses and recognition of athletic injuries in young people, and are hopeful that increased awareness and monitoring will help prevent serious health issues. A new report also shows that strengthening neck muscles may reduce the risk of severe head injury, as the stronger muscles can lessen the damage caused by neck twists that rattle brain tissue.
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