HEALTH NEWS: Is Concussion Prevention Possible?

By Kahn Nirschl


Football is season is upon us again. It is one of my favorite sports and times of the year, but unfortunately, it is also associated with injuries.  One of the most concerning injuries for coaches, players, and parents is the concussion.

Football is a high-speed, high-impact contact sport, and players are certainly susceptible to this.  As a physical therapist, we speak to the idea of prevention for many of the injuries that we treat.

With that in mind, the question is whether there is anything with prevention in mind that can be applied to the prevention of concussions in athletics, namely football. Let’s first define what a concussion is, its management, and discuss some options for prevention.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of minor brain injury caused by a direct blow or trauma to the head that leads to a temporary loss in brain function.  It is important to understand that the symptoms of a concussion may not start right away.

It may take a few hours to even a few days for symptoms to fully emerge. Symptoms that can be present initially following the injury may include confusion, amnesia, loss of consciousness, ringing in the ears, nausea and vomiting, or convulsions.

Symptoms that can present in a more delayed fashion can include irritability, headaches, depression, sleep disorders, poor concentration, trouble with memory, as well as personality changes.

Upon suspicion of a concussion, a physical assessment should be performed as soon as possible. A medical professional such as a physician will detect some of the physical signs through a neurologic exam and medical imaging if the severity of symptoms warrant.

If a concussion is diagnosed, it is important for the athlete to rest, limiting external stimuli that would affect the person’s nervous system and brain. These stimuli include avoiding television, texting, computers, radio, bright lights, loud noises and reading, as well as school itself.

This rest period should be continued until all signs and symptoms have resolved, and this initial rest period can take several days.

Return to activity should be initiated once the original signs and symptoms are no longer present.  A gradual and progressive approach recovery has been outlined that has 7 phases of recovery.

Each phase outlines what activities are allowed. If symptoms reoccur, then a return to the previous phase is required.  The 7 phases of recovery are as follows and require a 24 hour period of no symptoms before progressing to the next phase:

1) No activity, only complete rest, proceed to phase 2 only when symptoms are gone.

2) Return to school/academics (1/2 day at first). Once a student can complete a full day without symptoms, then they may proceed to Phase 3.

3) Light aerobic exercise such as walking or a stationary bicycle, but no resistance training or weightlifting.

4) Sport-specific activities and training that do not involve any type of contact such as jogging.

5) Drills progressed without body contact to include weight lifting. Gradually progress resistance without a return of concussion symptoms. The time needed to progress from non-contact to contact exercise will vary based on the severity of the concussion.

6) Begin drills with body contact.

7) Game Play.

It is important to note that the threshold for additional concussions is less once someone has experienced a concussion, and a player who returns to sport should be very closely monitored and any return of symptoms should be met with a discontinuation of sport participation and a resumption of the 7 phases of recovery.

Are concussions preventable?

Now that we have covered what a concussion is and its management, we turn to the question of whether we can prevent concussions.  It is fair to say that that with certain sports where contact is likely, such as football, that absolute prevention of this type of injury is not possible.

With that being said, there are some things that can be done to try and reduce the severity and incidence of a concussion.

An interesting study in a July 2011 publication of the Journal of Neurosurgery revealed that supplementing with Omega 3/DHA fish oil after head injuries reduced the observed signs and symptoms associated with a concussion.

It was hypothesized that Omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil reduced the neural inflammation induced by the concussion injury.  There has been additional discussion that Omega 3/DHA fish oil can have potential to limit damage from concussions in a preventive fashion before the even occurs.

The good news is that fish oil is a supplement that can be found at local supermarkets in the pharmacy.

Another interesting approach to prevention of concussions is through the strengthening of the muscles of the neck.  Stronger neck muscles help to cushion against and lessen the linear and rotational forces that can cause a concussion.

In 2014 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, a research group demonstrated that neck strength was a significant predictor of concussion, with the odds of concussion falling by five percent for every one-pound increase in aggregate neck strength.

This research was also effective in demonstrating that a new, cost-effective tool to measure neck strength was reliable and cost effective enough to be used in most settings, as most systems to previously measure neck strength were outside of the financial constraints of school districts.

A hand held tension scale device attached to a Velcro adjustable head strap with a D ring to measure neck strength in pounds was used. This holds tremendous promise in pre-season screening programs for the future as more data emerges on those who are at greatest risk for concussion as well as having a cost-effective method to track increases in strength that can help prevent concussions.

My hope for all of the football players returning to the field this fall is to have an injury-free, successful football campaign.

Should some of our favorite boys of fall experience a concussion, my hope is that the information contained here might be helpful in their overall recovery.

Maysville Schools striving to be Certified Healthy

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

More and more people and businesses are taking a focus on health and now schools are doing the same by becoming certified healthy as part of the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program from the Oklahoma Department of Health.

The certification program recognizes schools, businesses, restaurants, and communities that promote wellness, encourage the adoption of healthy behaviors, and establish safe and supportive environments.

As part of the program that Pauls Valley, Lindsay, Whitebead, and Elmore City schools are already involved in, Maysville schools must become a 24/7 smoke and tobacco free zone, which the Maysville Board of Education voted to do at their Monday, August 11 regular meeting.

What this means is no tobacco products whatsoever, including e-cigarettes or vapors will be allowed to be used on school property, at school events, or at athletic games.

Once the schools are Certified Healthy, the district will be allowed to apply for certain grants that are only available to Certified Healthy schools, which could mean more money for the district as well as recognition for making the change towards health.

“This isn’t about the adults, it’s about the kids,” said Maysville Superintendent Dr. Shelly Hildebrand – Beach.

Other criteria is also in place to be certified, such as healthier food and snacks in the schools and physical education hours for the students, but Dr. Hildebrand – Beach informed the board that the Maysville district is already doing a lot of things needed to get certified.

Signs will be placed around school campuses and athletic fields stating the area is a 24 / 7 smoke and tobacco free zone and areas will also be monitored to ensure that the new policies are not broken.

Other business conducted at the meeting includes:

•A letter from board member Asheley Close was opened which stated that she would no longer be serving on the school board due to the fact that her sister is now an employee of the district.

District nepotism laws are the reason for Close’s departure.

•Dr. Hildebrand – Beach stated that the softball fence has been replaced and that metal kickboards have been purchased to replace the wood of the football field bleachers.  These improvements are just some that will happen over time.

“We are just getting started.  It takes time to get it all done,” said Dr. Hildebrand – Beach.

•No enrollment numbers have been released as of yet for the district, as there are students in the community who have yet to enroll, but Elementary Principal Jeanna Bearden did state that the HeadStart 4-K program has 17 students enrolled, which is the class’s capacity, and the school’s 4-K class has nine students leaving one spot open.

•Timothy Keaton and Michael Webb were both hired as secondary teachers and coaches for the 2014-2015 school year.

•John Bailey was hired as a lay coach for football for the 2014-2015 school year.

Pauls Valley City Council approves tourism requests

By Jeff Shultz


Over $32,000 in tourism funds were approved by the Pauls Valley City Council Tuesday night, August 12, during the council’s regular meeting.

Based on recommendations from the PV Tourism Board, council members gave the green light to the following tourism funding requests:

•$750 from the Pauls Valley Opry for advertisements in the Opry’s monthly program;

•$5,846.75 for the 19th Annual PV Police Officer Car Show;

•$15,000 from the PV Lake Board for new roofs on a pavilion and a bathroom, with the stipulation that a local contractor be used if possible;

•$4,994 from Blue Sky Outdoor for the renewal of a billboard located on I-35, just south of Norman; and

•500 from the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department for advertising Pauls Valley on reusable bags.

In other business the council approved a date change for the annual Boo on the Bricks this year.

The traditional Halloween event is normally held on October 31, but this year Halloween happens to fall on Senior Night for Pauls Valley High School.

Boo on the Bricks was moved to Thursday night, October 30 so the event wouldn’t conflict with Senior Night.

Council members also approved an amendment to the city ordinances dealing with the flood plain on areas of new construction.

Garvin County Sheriff’s Deputy assaulted in early Monday morning incident

By Jeff Shultz


An Alvarado, Texas man is behind bars after assaulting a Garvin County Sheriff’s Deputy early Monday morning.

According to Captain Travis Crawford, Joseph Bentley Gibson was reportedly walking in and out of traffic on I-35 Monday morning at mile marker 70 and had already been clipped by a semi truck when the Sheriff’s office received a call about the incident at 5:45 a.m.


Deputy Justin Pittman responded to the call and was assisted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and two Pauls Valley Police units.

“When Pittman arrived on the scene, Gibson began walking aggressively toward him,” Crawford said.

Gibson then grabbed Pittman’s bulletproof vest and would not let go as he struggled with Pittman and the other officers there.

He was placed under arrest for public intoxication and assaulting an officer.

“We believe he was under the influence of some drugs at that time,” Crawford said.

Gibson was transported to Pauls Valley General Hospital for the injuries sustained in the semi-truck incident.

According to Crawford, the semi-truck cargo had grazed Gibson’s arm as Gibson was darting in and out of traffic.

Once at the hospital Gibson started kicking and hitting Pittman again until he was subdued.

It was learned that earlier Sunday night or Monday morning Gibson had gotten into an altercation at the motel he was staying at in Pauls Valley.

At that time two PV Police Officers responded to the call by motel management, but there was no altercation with the officers then.

“He has been in prison before and we believe he’s a member of the Aryan Nation,” Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes added.

The Aryan Nation is a violent white supremacist group.

Burgin says KKK reference a big misunderstanding

By Jeff Shultz


Garvin County GOP chairman Allie Burgin said the uproar over a poster for an upcoming County Republican meeting is a big misunderstanding.

The poster recently has been fodder for state Democrats because the poster claims one of the topics to be discussed is the Ku Klux Klan and the featured speaker for the meeting is none other than Gov. Mary Fallin.

Burgin told the News Star Friday the poster has taught him and others in the county GOP a good lesson on communication.

“We do not support the KKK at all,” said Burgin. “What we had planned on doing was giving out information on the KKK as a terrorist organization.”

Burgin said a web site provided him some research into the beginnings of the KKK and that was what he wanted to make available.

“When the KKK started they attacked mostly Republicans during that time,” he said.

Burgin said approximately 15-20 of the posters were distributed in the Pauls Valley area prior to the big uproar.

“Someone saw it on one of the windows somewhere and took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook or some Internet site and it went viral from there,” Burgin said.

Burgin said when the photo went viral and political rivals of the GOP and Fallin started having a hay day with it, he and others in the county party immediately removed the posters in PV.

“We called the state (GOP) office and the governor’s office to let them know what was going on,” he said.

Fallin’s office confirmed she would not be attending the meeting, Burgin said.

“We really regret this ever happening,” he added. “Several of us looked at the poster and knew what our original intentions were and it didn’t really set off any alarm bells.”

The poster said other topics on the agenda included discussions on Planned Parenthood and the NRA.

Those topics, including any discussion on the KKK, have been removed from the meeting agenda.

“Our plan now is to distribute voter registration forms and voter information, and that’s it,” Burgin said.

County fair to feature new events

The 99th Garvin County Fair is less than a month away! Scheduled for September 4-6, 2014, there is something that will interest everyone.

The official fair catalog is now available, and can be picked up at the OSU Extension Service office or numerous businesses throughout the county. The entry information is also located on the Extension web site

Many new events are planned for this year to attract visitors. One generating excitement this year is the Extreme Animals Show that will be featured on Saturday, September 6. Pauls Valley Tourism is generously sponsoring the show, which will be free to visitors. You can find out more about it at

Also new is a turkey shoot, sponsored by the Garvin County Sheriff’s office and hay stacking contest that will also be held during the day on Saturday. There will also be a cake walk, featuring cakes entered in the 2nd annual Make Your Cake and Eat it Too contest.

All types of vendors are invited to set up a booth at the Expo and Craft Show, also to be held on Saturday. Vendors already slated include Game Time Inflatables, Anima Mundi Scrabble jewelry, Sweet Treats, which features cotton candy, peach smoothies, and fresh lemonade.

Spirit Concessions will feature kettle corn for fair goers. Distinctive pottery will be offered by Sacred Earth & Fire.

Also offered will be Tim’s Italian Ice, Marion’s Multi-Flower Honey of Stratford,  Scentsy, Grace Adele and Velada products, goat milk soaps and lotions, homemade cinnamon rolls, sewn items, and informational business booths.

Garvin County Farm Bureau will bring their smoke house trailer, an interactive educational program that teaches children what to do when their home catches on fire, how to escape, and what they can do to help prevent fires.

The cost for a 12 x 10 space is $25.  Forms may be downloaded from the OSU Extension Service web site or you may pick them up at the OSU Extension Service office located at 201 W. Grant, Rm 7, Courthouse in Pauls Valley.

The Fair Board also extends an invitation to businesses to feature their name on this year’s fair t-shirt. It features the winner’s drawing from the 1st annual 4-H and FFA County Fair Logo Contest, sponsored by Pauls Valley National Bank and the Garvin County Fair Board.

Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will benefit the 4-H program and Garvin County Fair events. There are three sponsorship tiers—$100; $50 or $25.

Please contact the OSU Cooperative Extension Service at 405-238-6681 or  by email; as soon as possible for more information.

Masked robbers make off with auto parts store cash

By Jeff Shultz


It was a case straight from the comic books, except this time the one wearing a super hero costume was the bad guy.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts Store had a couple of unexpected visitors last Saturday night, August 2, when a pair of robbers came into the store as it was closing.

One of the robbers was dressed in black, wearing a paint ball mask, while the second one was donning a Spider-Man costume, according to the Pauls Valley Police.

According to police reports, the two tied up the employees and threatened to kill them before leaving the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The pair came through the store’s side entrance, assaulted one employee and then bound their wrists with plastic zip ties.

According to Assistant Police Chief Derrick Jolley, one of the suspects put one of the store employees in chokehold for a while.

“The suspect with the paint ball mask did strike one of the employees in the face, but no serious injuries were done to either employee,” he said.

Investigators are running down all leads into this crime, Jolley added.

“It’s clear the suspects had clear knowledge of the closing procedures of the store,” Jolley said, noting they have a couple of “persons of interest” investigators want to talk to.

Jolley said the store did not have a surveillance tape of the robbery available.

Two killed in Tuesday morning crash

A collision occurring seven miles west of Stratford on Highway 19 took the lives of two young men early Tuesday morning, August 5.

Joshua Clark, age 18, of Shawnee, Oklahoma and Chase Marical, age 24, of Tecumseh, Oklahoma were traveling westbound on Highway 19 in a 2010 Chevrolet pickup driven by Clark.

The vehicle went left of center for an unknown reason and struck head on a 2002 International garbage truck driven by James Nauman, 26, of Pauls Valley.

Both vehicles caught fire and burned.

Nauman was taken to Pauls Valley General Hospital where he was treated and released.

Clark and Marical were transported to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Oklahoma City.

The accident is under further investigation as to the cause.

Murray, Love, and Marshall County Detachments of Troop F assisted the Pauls Valley Fire Department, the Garvin County Sheriff’s Office and the Stratford Police Department in the initial investigation of the collision.

Pauls Valley United Fund seeking funds

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

The Pauls Valley United Fund is gearing up for a busy few months with a golf scramble in the works for September, changing their annual spaghetti dinner to a stew dinner in October, and having a giveaway for two Bedlam tickets, but all of these things aim to do one thing – raise money for an organization who gives money to so many others.

“We will be overdrawn as of next donation period. We are struggling,” said United Fund member Angela Portwood.

The Pauls Valley United Fund currently donates money to around thirty Garvin county organizations, but with a lack of donations due to restructuring from some of their higher profile donors has left the group scrambling to raise funds to disperse.

“Walmart and Curwood now have a grant process you have to go through,” said Portwood.

So far this year, the United Fund has seen a $10.00 donation from one business that used to donate as much as $30,000 a year because of the new process.

Another hurdle the non-profit is facing is getting the word out regarding payroll deducted donations some Garvin County residents give to the United Way.

If a Garvin county zip code isn’t furnished when the elective donation is set up, the money deducted is put into a large pot for United Way use, mainly in the Cleveland County area.

“If they would just use their Garvin County zip code when signing up, the money would be filtered down to us,” said Connie Weeks, another member of the organization.

A general lack of knowledge of what the United Fund is, also has members questioning what they need to do to get their name out in the community more.

“We need more P.R. opportunities’” said Brian Black.

“We are giving money for things and no one knows where the money is coming from,” said Portwood.

As of now, the United Fund is looking at several different ways to reorganize and hopefully become more efficient while getting the money that the organization needs to fulfill its financial obligations to the groups that they help.

Wiley Post Festival prepping to fly

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

Saturday, September 6, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., the Wiley Post Festival will hit Williams Street in Maysville, and this year’s event will offer some new fun for festival patrons.

One of the new events this year is a color run.

“It will be like one of the color runs you see on TV, only Maysville size,” said Janet Dinwiddie, Maysville Librarian and organizer of the festival.

The run will be about one mile and participants can either walk or run.

Colored powder will be thrown at the runners along the route, resulting in a running rainbow.

For the $25.00 entry fee, participants will receive a shirt, a color packet, and water along the route of the run.

Another new addition will involve the grand tradition of the festival’s namesake; fly-by ping-pong.

“Lamar Bearden volunteered to do fly-bys in his plane and drop out ping pong balls,” said Dinwiddie.

Words will be written on some of the balls and prizes will be given for balls that are brought to the library.

A scavenger hunt will also take place during the festival. Participants can register at the festival to seek out clues and prizes.

With the new additions come old favorites, like a $5.00 per person pancake breakfast to benefit the Maysville Police Department from 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., as well as a performance by the Maysville band, and vendors galore.

A fill-the-bus paper good drive will also be going on to benefit the community schools, and games for the kids will be present as well.

Vendors for the festival are welcome until Dinwiddie runs out of places to put them.

Vendor fees are as follows:

Food vendor – $50.00

All other vendors – $15.00

Non-profits – Free

Applications can be picked up at the Maysville Public Library or Town Hall.

Completed applications can be turned in with payment to the Maysville Public Library or mailed to the Maysville Public Library at P.O. Box 599, Maysville, Oklahoma 73057.

For more information on the festival, call 405-867-4748 or email

The News Star will have more on the festival as it becomes available.

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