Sports neurology guides athletes towards concussion recovery and other issues

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When thinking of athletes, physical prowess is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However for the modern athlete, the ability to perform their best means more than just being physically fit.

Dr. David Ehrhardt, Medical Director of Sports Neurology at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neruosciences, explains how common neurological issues, or mental health, can affect an athlete's performance on the playing field.

Dr. Ehrhardt says that athletes have different needs than a typical neurological patient. Their problems might require specialized therapeutic options, different, medications, or even more intense therapies. An athlete's performance during the process is an important factor when it comes to making medical decisions.

There's a wide variety of conditions a patient can have ranging from headaches, to seizures, weakness, numbness, and bigger problems like concussions. When a patients comes to visit medical professionals like Dr. Ehrhardt, they discuss the next steps of treatment and keep in close contact with the athletes and their trainers during the recovery process. After an athlete gets full clearance from the doctor, they come back for physical clearance to make sure they're fully recovered and ready to get back on the field.

Dr. Ehrhardt says it's best for athletes to see a neurologist with sports specialization because they have a deeper understanding of what's expected from an athletic performance, as well as the issues of banned substances. There can be situations that can cause conflicts when prescribing a medication that won't allow the athlete to participate in their sport. Sports neurologists also have more experience in physically testing patients in order to evaluate if they're ready to head back to the field.

Doctors and sports neurologist can help get rid of the pain, but there are also ways an athlete can help themselves to reduce pain and stay mentally strong by resting as necessary, not overusing joints, losing weight, eating healthy, and making use of hot and cold compresses before and after exercises. It's also a good idea to avoid foods that cause inflammation and contain high water content.

Most importantly, always stay positive and keep moving. By following these tips, it can lead to an easier road to recovery and performance on the field.

For more information on programs and treatments at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences, visit

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