I took a small spill yesterday on my trail run.

Bandaged HeadI felt myself losing my footing and tried to roll so I’d land on my side instead of my face (I’d rather break a shoulder than a neck) and while I wouldn’t have been too happy I was doing all right until my head got stopped by a tree stump.

Thankfully, no signs of concussion and a mountain biker came upon me a few minutes later and helped me bandage up my head so that I could run the 2 or 3 miles out of the woods back to the car. He followed me back up the trail until we found my wife and then she ran back with me and drove me to the ER.

So…what should you do if you fall down while you’re running, and you’ve hit your head?

The first thing you want to do is to just be very careful. You want to stay calm, and don’t panic.

Take a few moments, draw in a few deep breaths and just make sure that you don’t get yourself too worked up and wind up hurting yourself more. You might be dazed or confused and you’ll probably be in quite a bit of pain if you did hit your head.

Once you’ve had a few moments to collect yourself, do a quick self-assessment. Does your neck hurt? Do your shoulders hurt? Can you wiggle your fingers or toes? Do you know what your name is? Do you know where you are, what you’ve had for breakfast, what day it is? Are you nauseated or dizzy? These are some simple things you can do to just check and see if you might have a concussion.

What you’re going to want to do is once you manage to get up, you’re going to want to get yourself somewhere where you can get checked out, especially if you’ve got any signs of concussion or cuts on your head that will probably bleed a lot. You’ll need to get some stitches and want to make sure to get them cleaned out so you don’t get any infections.

If you have any signs of concussions, be very careful about moving around. If you have a cellphone, you may want to just call for help rather than trying to get yourself out of wherever you happen to be. And once you get to the emergency room, they’ll clean you up and they’ll give you the best advice for what you should do next.

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