By Christopher Curry
Staff writer, Gainesville Sun
Published: Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 5:03 p.m.
A new University of Florida study says trying to play through concussion symptoms backfires for college athletes.
A team of UF Health researchers looked at concussion data on UF athletes from 2008-2015 and found that athletes who delayed reporting a concussion to “play through it” missed an average of five to seven more days away from their sport in order to recover than athletes who reported symptoms right away.
“The immediate thought for the athlete might be let’s get through this game because it’s the most important thing, but in the long-term, you miss more time,” said Brenton Asken, the study’s lead author and a doctoral student in Clinical and Health Psychology.
In a UF press release, Asken said earlier studies showed that continuing intense physical activity immediately after a concussion leads to more negative health issues and that may lead to the longer time away from the sport for those athletes.
The UF report is part of a national wave of research into sports-related concussions amid increased attention to protecting against brain injuries in sports, particularly football, from the youth level to the professional ranks. At UF, sensors installed in the helmets of a few dozen football players and a computer software system are part of an ongoing test started in 2014 to measure the force, length and location of hits to the head and improve understanding of how to prevent, diagnose and treat concussions.