Athletes and other individuals who experience bumps to the head at work or at play may have bigger problems than experts once thought. Recent studies show that long-term and potentially dangerous effects can result from small but frequent bumps to the head.
Stanford researchers recently studied the MRIs of three patients to watch the brain’s movement. Even a slight bump allows the brain to move inside the skull. Such movement, however insignificant it may seem, can cause long-term brain injury.
The brain can withstand small amounts of movement equal to 5 hertz, which is typical of ordinary daily activity. Those engaged in sports experience a much higher amount of brain movement. Depending on the sport and the level of contact, brain inertia can be as much as 15 or 20 hertz. At 15 hertz, traumatic brain injury can to occur.
When the brain moves quickly and stops suddenly inside the skull, damage can be significant even if there are few outward signs of a blow to the head. Several smaller bumps or sudden quick movements are equally damaging and can affect even those wearing protective head gear. The studies concluded that new technology may be needed in the design of football helmets and other head protection products.
A head injury can cause an individual’s quality of life to decrease and may result in costly medical bills. A lawyer experienced in personal injury cases may be able to determine whether or not an athlete or other individual is eligible to file a personal injury claim.