Brain Injury Claims and “The Sidney Crosby Effect”

by John McKiggan

This week Sidney Crosby returned to the ice after a ten month hiatus while he underwent rehabilitation for a severe concussion.

Crosby’s performance suggests that the rest and rehabilitation has served him well. He appears to be back in top form, one of the best in the NHL.

Sidney’s Injury Was a Good Thing

Don’t get me wrong. What happened to Sidney Crosby was terrible and not something I would wish on any athlete. But I do think what happened to Sidney has been good thing for amateur athletes. In fact it has been good thing for anyone who has suffered a minor traumatic brain injury.

Why?

Brain Injury in the News

Sidney Crosby is so famous; his injury has catapulted discussion of concussions and brain injury from the pages of medical journals to the front page of newspapers and to the lead story of mainstream television and radio news.

But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at this graph. It shows the increase, since 2004, in the number of online searches for the term “concussion”.

Sidney Crosby has always been a great ambassador for hockey and amateur sports. Now he has become an ambassador for brain injury awareness.

In fact, a recent CBC news story was titled Sidney Crosby’s Concussion a Teaching Tool.

Increased Awareness

If you Google “Sidney Crosby” and “concussion” you will get more than 850,000 results. Doing a similar search on the terms “Sidney Crosby” and “brain injury” yields 250,000 results. What this suggests to me is that hundreds of thousands of people around the world are finally realizing that a concussion is a brain injury!

That is good news for those of us that support brain injury survivors. Because you don’t take steps to prevent something until you know it’s dangerous.

The Sidney Crosby Effect?

When Oprah first started her television book club, any book Oprah read immediately became a best seller. This became known as “the Oprah effect”. Is it possible that Sidney Crosby’s concussion will have the same effect for brain injury awareness?

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