Ex-wrestler pushes awareness of concussions among youngsters

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By Katina Caraganis, kcaraganis@sentinelandenterprise.com

TOWNSEND — Concussions are no stranger to former professional wrestler and college football player Christopher Nowinski.

During the course of his career, he suffered six that he says were mismanaged.

Each year, emergency departments in the United States treat an estimated 135,000 sports and recreation concussions and other head injuries.

More awareness among student-athletes, coaches and parents can significantly reduce the number of initial concussion cases across the country, and reduce the number of subsequent concussion cases in athletes, emphasized Nowinski Tuesday night to parents, coaches and athletes at North Middlesex Regional High School.

Nowinski, founder of the Boston-based Sports Legacy Institute, said his symptoms lasted for years, and included intense headaches, memory impairment, and acting out his dreams to the point where he had to be medicated to sleep through the night.

“We’ve been failing a lot of young athletes in terms of providing the right information for them to play safely. I was from the generation that if you could walk, you can play. If something’s not bleeding, don’t worry about it,” he said. “The only reason I stopped was because I was at a hotel and my girlfriend was there and I started acting out my dream.”

His last concussion ultimately forced him to retire. When he was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, he looked for more information to better understand concussions and how to better treat them.

Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci_18086264?source=rss#ixzz1MtVqqfG4