Concussion and the Crossfitter

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A few weeks ago I took part in a competition where one of my fellow box mates suffered a concussion after she fell off the pull up bar while doing toes to bar. When athletes think of sports concussion, it is usually in reference to hockey, football, or soccer. My friend’s injury proved that we crossfitters, or any other athlete for that matter, are not immune. Here are some important facts to know about concussion:

* Concussions are considered a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury that is caused by a blow to the head
* It is a closed head injury because the brain is not exposed by a penetration to the skull, however, there can still be a fracture to the skull
* There can be a period of lost consciousness (usually 20 minutes or less)
* To have a concussion, a person DOES NOT have to lose consciousness (this is one fact most people are unaware)
* Upon regaining consciousness or immediately post head trauma:

*the person may open their eyes spontaneously and may be able to respond to commands
*the person may appear confused or their verbal responses may be incoherent

* It is important to seek medical attention immediately if there is a suspected concussion.
* A person will often be given a CT scan or an MRI to detect brain injuries including hemorrhages, small brain legions, and other contusions
* There are many post-concussive symptoms that can happen immediately or within weeks or even months after a concussion.

*changes in sleeping or eating patterns
*periods of dizziness
*hypersensitivity to noise
*lessened tolerance to alcohol (may not be the worst thing)

So please, my athletic wonders! Be careful out there and if you suspect you or one of your fellow athletes has suffered a concussion, do not try to be a hero. Get your or your friend’s sexy, squat booty some medical attention that extends beyond your bro telling you to shake it off. Make sure to ask a medical professional how many days you need to lay off and ADHERE to what they say.


Ogden, J. A. (2005). Fractured minds: A case study approach to clinical neuropsychology, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press: New York.

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