Concussion, it’s not just a rugby thing

There is no doubt that there are a high number of concussions suffered in rugby, but that’s not purely down to the fact that it’s a collision sport. There are around 150,000 rugby players in New Zealand, and the unions and ACC have done a fantastic job at raising the awareness around concussion and introducing protocols that are widely understood. So, we are naturally going to see a lot of concussions reported. Add to this the number of media stories we hear about professional players suffering head injuries. It starts to drown at the fact that concussions can happen in all forms of sport.

We’ve seen over 700 new cases in our clinic since February 2017. Whilst rugby union does provide the greatest number of cases (62%) there are a large variety of other sports represented from football and futsal, through to sports like ice hockey, water polo, and equestrian riding.

ACC statistics show that while concussion is high in rugby (providing 32% of reported concussions in 2017), there are significant head injuries suffered in other sports. Football, cycling / MTB, winter sports and rugby league are the next highest, followed by hockey, netball and basketball.

It is our belief that within many of these sports there are a large number of concussions going unreported. But this isn’t necessarily down to negligence. Many of these activities aren’t organised and centralised like rugby is. Activities are undertaken socially, or in small groups, where it’s easy to not recognise a concussion or to not know what to do.

But that needs to change. Every sports person from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete, every club and every organisation needs to educate themselves on how to manage a concussion. There are some fantastic resources out there from ACC to get you started. And, if your club or organisation would like more information, or has any questions we’d be more than happy to help, just email

And, remember. If you have, or know someone who has suffered a concussion in the last 10 days, we run Auckland’s most comprehensive sports concussion service, fully funded by ACC, so consultations are free to you. It’s staffed by medical experts with vast experience in sports concussion. Our clinic offers patients an early accurate diagnosis, advice and follow up, as well as a structured return to sport, based on the national sporting code. You can learn more here.

Axis Concussion Clinic

Have you, or do you know someone who has, suffered a concussion recently? It’s better to play it safe and have your injury assessed by an experienced professional before you return to play, than risk further injury. We run Auckland’s most comprehensive sports concussion service.

  1. Fully funded by ACC, so consultations are free to you.
  2. Staffed by medical experts with vast experience in rugby and sports concussion.
  3. Aim to see each patient within a week of their injury.
  4. No referral needed when seen within 10 days of injury.

Learn more here or call 09 521 9811 to make an appointment