Concussion: a vicious circle?

by Laurence Morin-Emond on November 13, 2013 - 10:35pm

Concussion in sports touches more and more athletes in sports; from young to old athletes. Concussion is dangerous; it can start from a little headache to a sever disease. But this issue comes from the bottom, where the bodychecks are not necessarily well educated by the Minor hockey coaches and especially misused.


The first article is about the links and differences between bodychecks in National Hockey League (NHL) and minor hockey. It give statistics and explain what a bodycheck it suppose to be. Almost 25% of the NHL players get at least one concussion in a season!  That’s huge!  Plus, repetitive concussions can bring to a “chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is associated with a spectrum of sequelae including memory loss, behavioural and personality changes, depression, early dementia and motor neuron disease.”(Johnson, 1) Bodychecks are the cause of big percentage of injuries, because they are not use for the good reasons.  Bodychecks in hockey is suppose to be use as a defensive way, to play the puck or slow down a player, not for injured a player, like some NHL players make. The young players watch their idol play like that and see violence acts and hit to the head;  unconsciously, they act like that also, because it’s their idols and they dream to be as good as them. That’s why it enter in and vicious circle and become dangerous. Even if the young hockey players are suppose to be teach by their coach how bodycheck at the ages of 12-13 (Pee-wee), they already saw those image and they are the future of hockey; so if all the hockey leagues doesn’t stop the dangerous way to bodycheck, it will never finish.


The second article is about the athletes who continue to play even if they have symptoms of concussion. It explains how it can be dangerous to continue the training, even if the athlete does not get other “head shots”. The symptoms during the rehabilitation, after the 7-10 days of complete rest, will determine the duration of the rest.


Finally, it’s a question of respect. If the athletes respect the other ones when they bodycheck, just by legal ones and the time of rest if they are injured/concussed (respect of themselves), the number of concussion and injuries to the head will gradually slow down; or the percentage will never finish to grow up…



First article: M. Johnson, L. Syd. “Concussion in youth ice hockey: It’s time to break the cyle.” Canadian Medical Association or its licensors.  (2011): 5 pages. PDF. 13 November 2013.

Second article: Sojka, Peter. ““Sport” and “non-sport” concussions.”  Canadian medical Association of its licensors. (2011): 3 pages. PDF. 13 November 2013.




I agree with your post on concussions in that they may lead to mental health issues such as personality changes and depression. In the NHL a lot of fighters suffer from concussions as a result of the number punches that were thrown towards their head. For example neurosurgeon Robert Cantu from Boston University studied the brains of dead athletes and found that most had damage to the brain areas that controlled things such as memory, addiction, depression, emotions, anxiety, and impulse control. This supports the theory that concussions are dangerous and often can lead to lasting mental health issues.

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