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  • Give Concussion the Red Card

    Read the full story: Give Concussion the Red Card
    U.S. Air Force photo by Mike Kaplan

    Hey parents! Got a striker, midfielder, defender or keeper in your family? Do you know what hand ball, offside, corner and bicycle kick mean? Do you follow developments in goal line technology? Have you been heard to shout “All ball!” or “Advantage!” at the referee?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’m guessing you’re a soccer mom or dad, or a soccer player yourself! You may know about injuries such as torn ligaments and pulled hamstrings. But whether your athlete is a newbie or dreams of making it to the World Cup one day, you should also add traumatic brain injury (TBI) to your vocabulary.

    As soccer gains popularity in the United States and awareness of TBI grows, more eyes are on this potentially serious injury. Mild TBI, also known as concussion, is especially common among girls. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, “females participating in high school sports now have a higher incidence rate of sport-related concussions than do males.”

    A TBI is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. It can cause loss of consciousness for a brief or extended period of time, or make one feel confused or “see stars.” The injury can be mild, moderate, severe or penetrating, but most TBIs are concussions. Traumatic brain injury symptoms can be physical (headaches, dizziness), cognitive (problems with memory or concentration) or emotional (irritability or mood swings).

  • Former Sailor Experiences a Different Kind of TBI

    Read the full story: Former Sailor Experiences a Different Kind of TBI
    Photo courtesy of Jasmine Twine

    Jasmine Twine was stationed in Newport News, Virginia, when she started to notice that some things were off.

    “The shipyard had a lot of fumes, so when I started to have vision problems and headaches I thought it was due to that,” she said.

    Doctors first prescribed Jasmine new glasses and medication, but when she started having debilitating headaches, they ordered a CT scan of her brain. The scan revealed an urgent condition: a cyst on her brain that required surgery. Complications from the removal of the cyst resulted in an acquired traumatic brain injury (TBI).

    Jasmine learned that whether TBI is acquired or results from a blow or jolt to the head, the symptoms and treatment are similar.

  • Summer Safety: ‘Foul Ball!’ Learn Risks of Head Injuries in Baseball

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Ball!' Learn Risks of Head Injuries in Baseball
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Antwaun L. Jefferson

    Baseball and softball are practically synonymous with summer in America. Military families enjoy days at the stadium together, service members join recreational leagues, and kids learn the ropes at Little League games. When watching a Major League Baseball (MLB) game, who doesn’t love it when one of our service members throws out the first pitch?

    Baseball and softball are popular summer pastimes, but most people don’t connect these two sports with head injuries. Players and fans need to be aware of the possible danger of being beaned by a ball. Head injuries are a problem not just for amateur athletes, but also the pros. An MLB official says that a dozen pitchers have been hit in the head by line drives since 2012.

  • Feeling Overwhelmed by the News? You’re Not Alone

    Read the full story: Feeling Overwhelmed by the News? You’re Not Alone
    U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tracy McKithern

    Do you feel overwhelmed by the recent reports of violence in the world? From international terrorist attacks to national civil unrest and violence, social media feeds and news outlets are flooded with powerful imagery, videos and heated debate.

    For our warriors, terrorism and violence are not new topics. Strong opinions and images of violence can be emotional triggers for those who have served in conflicts or for family members who have lost loved ones in similar attacks.

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and intense feelings can resurface when something unsettling happens. When you start to feel overwhelmed, we want you to know that we understand. We offer these tips and resources to help you manage those situations.

  • ‘Combat Obesity, Not Obese People’

    Read the full story: ‘Combat Obesity, Not Obese People’
    DoD photo by Rachel Larue

    People’s perceptions about those who are overweight or obese make it hard to address weight-based health issues in the military, according to Natasha Schvey, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Schvey shared information on obesity in the military setting during a recent webinar hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

    What is Weight Stigma?

    Rates of obesity in the United States have climbed steadily among civilian and military populations in the past two decades. The stigma surrounding excess weight has increased with it, making the problem worse.

  • Summer Safety Tip: Protect Your Head While Biking

    Read the full story: Summer Safety Tip: Protect Your Head While Biking
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Dave Flores

    June 20 officially marked the first day of the summer season. For many people, summer is the time to enjoy outdoor activities — whether jet skiing in the ocean on a hot day or navigating rough terrain during a bike ride through mountains. These activities and many others can be fun, but can also be potentially dangerous. Keeping your mind on safety can be life-preserving.

    In the United States more than 40 million people participate in mountain biking annually, according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association. For the service members, veterans and their families who enjoy biking, A Head for the Future, a Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) initiative, created “Ride Right.” This printable resource offers five tips to help cyclists keep their heads in the game while blazing the trails: