Headaches and head knocks

Headaches in sport are usually the result of a knock or blow to the head; this may be caused by a fall or by contact with another individual or an object.

Effects of a head knock

Gentle knocks will usually result in a mild pain which will usually subside quickly with the help of pain relief. Moser serious knocks can potentially be very dangerous and even life threatening. The severity of the knock is often determined by the strength and location of the blow; a blow to the temples can be particularly dangerous.

Symptoms of head knocks

Minor cases will usually involve a mild headache; however more serious injuries can result in several other symptoms and can potentially be very serious; these symptoms include drowsiness, prolonged headaches which do not improve with pain relief, dizziness, vomiting, confusion, slurred speech, double vision and blood coming out of the ears. The symptoms listed above may represent a serious head injury and the patient should be taken to casualty immediately.


Concussion is relatively common following a knock to the head and often causes drowsiness and confusion. If somebody has concussion they should be monitored carefully as they may lose consciousness.

Treating head injuries

Serious head injuries will need to be treated in hospital and the patient may need to be monitored over a period of time to ensure they do not lose consciousness. In extreme cases, head injuries in sport may leave players in a coma; in this case the individual will be taken to an intensive care unit ad will be monitored closely. Less serious head injuries will usually be examined by a doctor; if they are satisfied that the injury is not serious, the person will be discharged and pain relief may be prescribed.

Preventing head injuries

Many professional sports players wear protective head gear in order to reduce the possibility of them suffering a head injury; this is particularly common in rugby, where the head is often vulnerable to injury.

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