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Back to hockey after post concussion symdromes?

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06-28-2013, 10:26 AM
  #1
JohnZ622
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Back to hockey after post concussion symdromes?

Hey everyone,

I know I should be asking my doctor for medical advice but they've given me a wide range of advice so I decided to ask fellow hockey players

The story goes in December 2012, I had a few Thai boxing sparring sessions at which I suffered from minor headache and disorientation 3-4 times. They were minor concussions that lasted a day or so. In Feb 2013, I had a collision in adult hockey that left me with similar symptoms but I started getting sound sensitivity & light sensitivity type migraines.

Things would get better and then worse again as I went back to vigorous exercise and academic work. At one point, even a hard fall from skating or taking the impact from kickpads would bring on the concussive symptoms.

In May & June, I really started taking it easy physically and mentally and now, as of late June early July, most of my sound sensitivity is gone (not completely though) and I can safely engage in swimming and cycling. Going to go back to running soon. I am also starting acupuncture treatment soon to see if that helps.

I miss hockey like crazy for this whole time. After I watched the Hawks Bruins final, I became kind of depressed for not being able to go back to hockey.

Has anyone else had post concussion experiences like mine who were able to go back to hockey? (Even non-checking hockey where it's a bit safer). How bad were your concussions? How long did you have to stay out?

Cheers,
John

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06-28-2013, 11:16 AM
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Jarick
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For lingering post-concussion symptoms you need to go to a doctor.

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06-28-2013, 12:09 PM
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JohnZ622
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After the PCS disappears, is one safe to go back to hockey or am I doomed for life?

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06-28-2013, 12:35 PM
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Jisatsu
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I'm not a doctor, and this isn't advice. You really need to talk with a doctor who specializes in sports medicine focusing on contact sports. That said, I had a concussion in high school playing hockey. I was back on the ice a week later. Your case seems a bit more serious, since you have taken many hits to the head.

It all boils down to whatever risks you are willing to take. I would not risk being crippled for life or being seriously injured for just rec hockey. I'd look into a competitive ball hockey or floor hockey league if you miss the sport and don't want to have as much risk.

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06-28-2013, 01:02 PM
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Jarick
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Did you ever go to a doctor at all to rule out migraines or anything else? I had dizziness and headaches and fatigue and it ended up being whiplash, not a concussion. Time wouldn't have helped it all but physical therapy did.

Also I was put on an anti-anxiety medication because me worrying about the medical problems were giving me other physical manifestations of anxiety. But I've got a history of anxiety problems and was still dealing with them. Just a heads up or reassurance if you're freaked out about it, something you may want to look into. It can be scary as hell!

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06-29-2013, 02:50 AM
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Avshockey85
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Yes! 2 concussions. battled PCS both of them. First one was pretty major. got hit on Nov 2004, didn't skate again until Oct 2005. I couldn't even tell you what day/month/year it was. I couldn't even drive. bad vision, bad headaches, bad memory. 2nd one was 3 years ago and it only took me 5 months to get back on the ice. though it was quicker, I felt the symptoms were much more worse. headaches were more intense, anxiety was set off, and even the smell of being near the ice made me sick to my stomach. again, I couldn't even drive for those 5 months. had a possible 3rd one back in Feb '13 but only played for another month. wasn't too big of an issue, but it did set off my headaches again.

my doc said I shouldn't have played right after the first concussion, but being that concussions weren't really looked at back in 2004 as much as they are, he didn't see a problem with me staying with the sport. the 2nd time, I was told to rest and to take it easy. also if a 3rd one happened, he recommended I should quit

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06-29-2013, 10:12 AM
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JohnZ622
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Just started acupuncture yesterday for treating the PCS, it seemed to have helped a lot already.

I never got into such a big hit like some of you guys. I just had a series of "small" knocks in a short period coupled with anxiety about school.

For the record, I play beer league no-checking hockey. That's not so concussion risky right?

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06-29-2013, 10:33 AM
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Jarick
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What did your actual doctor say?

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06-29-2013, 04:55 PM
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The doctors' opinions vary greatly. Some more "old-schooled" doctors still say that if you don't lose consciousness you don't have a concussion or they examine the severity of concussion based on MRI results. That particular doctor thinks I can play again this winter. These doctors tend to think my symptoms come from grad school anxiety.

Some other doctors say that I have cumulative brain injuries should avoid contact sports.......

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07-01-2013, 11:22 AM
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Jarick
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Have you been to a neurologist? The one I visited was fantastic for me and helped me square away what I thought was PCS but was whiplash AND treated my anxiety.

Oddly enough, it was taking anti-anxiety medications that killed off a lot of the nagging symptoms (dizziness, unsteadiness, headaches, fatigue) to where it was just neck pain and headaches, and with physical therapy that was gone within a month.

I would explore that option if I were you, talk to your GP or a neurologist even.

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07-01-2013, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Have you been to a neurologist? The one I visited was fantastic for me and helped me square away what I thought was PCS but was whiplash AND treated my anxiety.

Oddly enough, it was taking anti-anxiety medications that killed off a lot of the nagging symptoms (dizziness, unsteadiness, headaches, fatigue) to where it was just neck pain and headaches, and with physical therapy that was gone within a month.

I would explore that option if I were you, talk to your GP or a neurologist even.
You had dizziness, unsteadiness and fatigue? I don't really have any of those, just headaches when I think hard or read too much.

I did see one neurologist, she seems convinced that I don't display any concussion symptoms and she thinks it is school anxiety related. I hopefully will finally my 6 year long PhD dissertation very soon.

Which neurologist did you see?

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07-01-2013, 09:36 PM
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A teammate of mine suffered a concussion a couple of weeks ago and was on the ice a little more than a week later. He suffered headaches and light sensitivity. His doc told him that he could get back to playing when headaches with physical activity stopped. He suffered this concussion during a D league non-check game. Somebody held his stick when battling for the puck and he rolled over him and hit pretty hard on the way down.

I'm sure that every case is different. Discussing it with your doctor is a must.

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07-02-2013, 02:10 AM
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Cotton McKnight
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I quit competitive hockey back in 99-00 due to a concussion. Doc said no physical activity for a year. That really sucked, I ballooned up to 205lbs (from 165lbs). I dropped the weight quickly and back to tending goal, for fun in men's leagues and pickup games. Fast forward to 2008, I don't remember it happening, but I took another puck to the helmet and started having massive migraines after I would play goalie after that. So I just quit, now I am working on coming back into playing, as a forward. I would make sure you get tested, the full testing may help. In the 90's they just scanned and my brain and told me to sit out.

Go see a specialist, and if you play, play for fun. There is no sense in making yourself a vegetable from going after a job......

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07-02-2013, 09:58 AM
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I lost about 6 months of hockey due to PCS.

The mistake I made was injuring my knee pretty badly by trying to go from 0 activity to playing hockey 3x a week plus hitting the gym 2x a week like I did before I got the injury.

You'll want to do two things before you get back into it

1. See how you feel
2. See a doctor about it

For myself, I had some lingering headaches for quite a while after being "cleared", but that was because of the associated neck injury I suffered. Doing lots of swimming cleared up a lot of the tension in my neck and allowed me to get back to normal.

I still haven't stripped away the extra poundage I gained in that time though.

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07-02-2013, 12:39 PM
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Thesensation19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Did you ever go to a doctor at all to rule out migraines or anything else? I had dizziness and headaches and fatigue and it ended up being whiplash, not a concussion. Time wouldn't have helped it all but physical therapy did.

Also I was put on an anti-anxiety medication because me worrying about the medical problems were giving me other physical manifestations of anxiety. But I've got a history of anxiety problems and was still dealing with them. Just a heads up or reassurance if you're freaked out about it, something you may want to look into. It can be scary as hell!
Thats basically what Sidney Crosby had right?
Then after months of concussion treatment they found that neck issue?

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07-02-2013, 01:12 PM
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Jarick
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Dunno about Crosby but I know others have had it. Pominville this year for instance.

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07-02-2013, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotton McKnight View Post
I quit competitive hockey back in 99-00 due to a concussion. Doc said no physical activity for a year. That really sucked, I ballooned up to 205lbs (from 165lbs). I dropped the weight quickly and back to tending goal, for fun in men's leagues and pickup games. Fast forward to 2008, I don't remember it happening, but I took another puck to the helmet and started having massive migraines after I would play goalie after that. So I just quit, now I am working on coming back into playing, as a forward. I would make sure you get tested, the full testing may help. In the 90's they just scanned and my brain and told me to sit out.

Go see a specialist, and if you play, play for fun. There is no sense in making yourself a vegetable from going after a job......
Sorry to hear your situation. You had to quit full contact hockey after only one concussion? It must've been really serious.

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07-02-2013, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Cotton McKnight View Post
I quit competitive hockey back in 99-00 due to a concussion. Doc said no physical activity for a year. That really sucked, I ballooned up to 205lbs (from 165lbs). I dropped the weight quickly and back to tending goal, for fun in men's leagues and pickup games. Fast forward to 2008, I don't remember it happening, but I took another puck to the helmet and started having massive migraines after I would play goalie after that. So I just quit, now I am working on coming back into playing, as a forward. I would make sure you get tested, the full testing may help. In the 90's they just scanned and my brain and told me to sit out.

Go see a specialist, and if you play, play for fun. There is no sense in making yourself a vegetable from going after a job......
Isn't the concussion risk for forward higher than the risk for goalies...in men's league that is

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07-02-2013, 11:48 PM
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Cotton McKnight
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Sorry to hear your situation. You had to quit full contact hockey after only one concussion? It must've been really serious.
The concussion was the icing on the cake, I was a goalie, it happened during a three puck drill. First puck save low blocker, then immediately, second puck pushed down on my collar bone (bruised not broken, and slowed the blood flow up to my brain, combine that with the concussion of the next puck) third puck hit me in the side of the head. This literally all happened within a second. It was the end of practice for the last regular season practice right before the playoffs.

So I sat there for a second, stunned and out of it, drove home and then started having stroke like responses to the injury (at home, not driving), checked into the ER and stayed for a day. The next day my neurologist gave me the one year off mandate. After that I went back to visit the neurologist, and I failed his tests. I would have been able to go to college and play, maybe even get a scholarship (I lived on my own and I was 17, so colleges loved that I wrote essay's about surviving well on my own at age 17).

I really love the game, but knew I would have struggled to make Pro a career. To me it was not worth it to get head hunted anymore for a paycheck. So I played men's leagues and tourney's and just played for pure enjoyment.

When the concussions came back out of nowhere (nine years later) I was having slurred speech, numbness of lips and extremities (and I was 70 pounds overweight) only after I would play goal. Got MRI'd three times in 08`, checked out by a bunch of doctors, no one saw anything to be worse than in 99-00. I blamed my weight for not being able to handle the higher level men's leagues I was wanting to play in. The doctors just shrugged and suggested not playing goal anymore and taking it easy as a forward or D-man (most of my doctors played sports still, some even played hockey). Obviously my wife was not ok with me doing this to myself so I just stopped tending net. Now I can go out and run on a hot day and do physical activity (still 70 pounds overweight, but now actually working on getting back in great shape) and I am just fine, no migraines, no stroke-like-symptoms. So I have bought some roller hockey equipment (closest and only ice sheet within 80 miles is 44 miles away) to help me get back to playing some hockey.

Sorry to thread jack OP, just be careful, make sure you address any symptoms you have and don't just tell yourself, "it'll be fine tomorrow," then drive home and scare yourself for nearly driving a car while your brain kicks your rear around to scare you into the ER.

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