Sports injury is paid attention just recently because of increased social concern. Especially, Chronic Trauma Encephalopathy (CTE) has been a core of the discussion in the last decade. Some American football players and their family said they had been suffering from continuous impairment of cognitive function and even behavioral change in their later life. At first, NFL did not admit the existence of the risk for brain damage by repeating concussion. But as evidence suggested the abnormal accumulation of Tau protein in the brain of athletes, and even Obama commented that he would not let his children play football, NFL had no choice than addressing this issue.
Nowadays, in spite of the lack of complete understanding of this syndrome, it is widely admitted that repetitive concussion can be harmful to the human brain. Athletes playing contact sports such as football, ice hockey, and boxing, have to protect their head from external force.
I attended an academic conference regarding medical law last year. I remember this issue was broadly discussed also there. In contrast, the danger of concussion is underestimated in Japan, as far as I know.
However, there is another issue. Athletes, especially in children, seldom report concussion honestly when they are hit in their head. Studies suggest only a half of sufferers report it and two-thirds do not meet a physician after the incident.
The Conversation: Many kids still don’t report concussion symptoms. How can we change that?
It is a serious problem, according to specialists in this region. Some researchers consider that there is a culture of resistance against accurate reporting beneath of the current situation. Players tend to feel embarrassed when they encounter a head injury.
This tendency is more apparent in Japan, I think. Being patient has been a virtue in Traditional Japanese culture. Many athletes believe serious training and suffering from pain make them strong, even now. I think it is an absurd idea or no other than a collective delusion of the athletes.
The group of the author of the article above attempts to encourage young athletes and their parents and trainers to become aware of the danger of concussion. They adopted an intervention method similar to protection from substance abuse and violence. It means they are quite serious to reduce the incidents due to unrecognized concussions.