Sports: No easy answers on head injuries in combat sports - PressFrom - Canada

SportsNo easy answers on head injuries in combat sports

07:20  07 december  2018
07:20  07 december  2018 Source:

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Combat Sports Injury Prevention. by Joel Jamieson. Avoiding injuries is most often a matter of training smarter, not harder, and listening to your body rather than fighting against it. To be successful in combat sports these days, fighters have to be well rounded athletic machines with a diverse skill.

A head injury is any injury that results in trauma to the skull or brain. The terms traumatic brain injury and head injury are often used interchangeably in the medical literature.

No easy answers on head injuries in combat sports© Provided by Oleksandr Gvozdyk, of Ukraine, lands a knockout punch to Adonis Stevenson, of Montreal, to win the Light Heavyweight WBC championship fight, Saturday, December 1, 2018 in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

The severe traumatic brain injury suffered by Canadian boxer Adonis Stevenson has pushed the subject of head trauma in combat sports back into the spotlight.

There are no easy solutions in either boxing or mixed martial arts, where repeated blows to the head are the norm despite the potential for serious and long-term consequences. The head is a main target in both sports and fighters say they know the risks.

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Kitsap Combat Sports is a mixed martial arts gym in Kitsap County producing professional and amateur fighters. KCS provide a facility where individuals can learn combat sports whether their focus is to simply become physically active, learn self defense or even become a competitive fighter.

But if you watch combat sport athletes, you’ve probably noticed an incredible range in emotional Sport -related concussions once again have hit the headlines. It is estimated that at least 300,000 It might then be easier for your mind to focus on the positive thoughts and it will take some of the sting

"It's dangerous but it's also something that the majority of us love the thrill, love the challenge, love the daring part of it," said former boxing champion Bernard Hopkins. "That's what makes us who we are."

Stevenson remained in stable but critical condition after a knockout loss last Saturday night in Quebec City. He dropped his WBC light heavyweight title to Oleksandr Gvozdyk of Ukraine.

The Montreal fighter underwent surgery to reduce bleeding in the brain and his prognosis remains uncertain. Doctors said that Stevenson is under mechanical ventilation, is sedated and requires specialized neurological monitoring.

The harsh reality of combat sports is that it is violent, often bloody, and at times, downright difficult to watch.

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PDF | Many sports have neurologic injury from incidental head contact; however, combat sports allow head contact, and a potential exists for acute and We use cookies to make interactions with our website easy and meaningful, to better understand the use of our services, and to tailor advertising.

A combat sport , or fighting sport , is a competitive contact sport that usually involves one-on-one combat . In many combat sports , a contestant wins by scoring more points than the opponent or by disabling the opponent.

Stevenson was on the receiving end of two nasty flurries of punches late in the 11th round at the Videotron Centre. The final barrage included repeated head shots, with Stevenson's legs finally buckling after taking a stiff right hand while backed against the corner.

"Knowing that these blows are cumulative in their damaging effect, it just points to the huge risks of sports like mixed martial arts and boxing in general," said Dr. Charles Tator, a neurosurgery professor at University of Toronto and a director at the Canadian Concussion Centre.

Fighters do not use head protection at the professional level in MMA or boxing. Both sports have made adjustments over the years by changing things like glove size, fight length and the addition of doctors at ringside.

However, the head has remained unprotected and as a result, injury prevention efforts can only go so far. Hopkins said adding headgear would send his sport into decline.

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Sports injuries result from acute trauma or repetitive stress associated with athletic activities. Common causes of sports injuries include athletic equipment that malfunctions or is used incorrectly, falls by athletes, forceful high-speed collisions between players, and wear and tear on areas of the

Kitsap Combat Sports Center is a mixed martial arts gym in Kitsap County producing professional and amateur fighters. Here in Kitsap Combat Sports Center, we also take importance in the promotion of fitness and wellness. We will ensure that you receive quality workout specific to combat sports .

"This is professional, I think we should keep it authentic as possible," he said. "Just have the right teaching and training of physicians that can immediately stop the fight when a fight needs to be stopped."

Chris Nowinski, a founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, said changing training techniques might help when it comes to combat sport.

"The No. 1 change would be to not have head blows in sparring," Nowinski said from Boston. "You can imagine that for some fighters, it could be that 90 per cent of their hits to the head are in sparring and not fights.

"That would be a dramatic change if the culture changed around allowing head impacts in sparring."

Hopkins, for one, dismissed the suggestion.

"You can't subtract punches in training or in a fight and not go for the head," he said during a promotional stop in Toronto. "It doesn't make sense. It becomes a body-punching match."

As researchers and medical authorities learn more about concussions, head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the alarm bells ring louder.

Some sports — notably football — have made changes to limit contact at practice while others have instituted concussion protocols.

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Combat Sports Injury Prevention. by Joel Jamieson. While it might be easy to just chalk up all these injuries to the unavoidable facts of the often brutal nature of the sport of fighting To be successful in combat sports these days, fighters have to be well rounded athletic machines with a diverse skill set

How can you prevent sports injuries ? Do you know the factors that increase your risk? Research provides us with helpful clues about the cause of sports injury . There are two factors that outweigh the rest when it comes to predicting a sports injury .

"I think history shows that if you allow fighting, you're going to have catastrophic brain injuries," Nowinski said. "You might be able to do a bit to mitigate it but it's going to happen eventually no matter what we try to do to prevent it."

While the entire body can be more of a target in MMA, the head still takes a pounding. And it's not just with fists — blows can come via elbow, knee or a kick to the head.

In one notable fight at UFC 229 last October, Tony Ferguson landed 114 significant strikes to opponent Anthony Pettis over a bloody two-round fight. According to Fightmetric, Pettis took 66 shots to the head over the 10-minute span before stopping due to a broken hand.

Ferguson, meanwhile, absorbed 32 blows to the head from Pettis's 45 significant strikes. Both fighters looked like horror movie extras by the end, with their shorts and the mat riddled in blood.

Spectators at the Las Vegas arena lapped it up with broadcaster Joe Anik proudly proclaiming, 'Mixed martial arts!!" as the second round ended, just seconds after pointing out he'd been sprayed with blood while sitting in his cageside seat.

There is simply a demand for these violent sports. Whether that will change as fighters and the public learn more about the potential dangers remains to be seen.

"As we better understand the long-term effects of these impacts, I think the demand for these sports if they continue as they're going will diminish because it's hard to enjoy watching somebody get their brains bashed in," Nowinski said. "You might be thinking about how it affects their family in the future.

"But there still is further that we can go to reform the sports so I think we'll also see them get a little more humane as we go."

There may be changes down the road but it seems unlikely — at least at the moment — that the culture of boxing or MMA is ready for a revolution.

"We're in the business of hitting you in the head," Hopkins said. "My job when I was a fighter was to hit you anywhere that's legal to win, to break you down and submit you to my will.

"When it's a good fight, that means that the other guy has the same idea."

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