MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While the Shakopee Sabres football team works out behind the school, trainer Christy Hager is inside the school building treating players who get bumps and bruises.

She welcomes new research on sports-related concussions, which comes out Thursday when the Minnesota Department of Health reveals the number of concussions in the last school year, and which sports had the most.

“With all the new research, it gives us a better understanding of how we need to treat the athletes to help prevent those long-term possible problems,” Hager said.

Using better equipment is only part of how concussions can be prevented.

“It’s very hard for us to stop everything,” she said. “Football players, for example, learning the proper tackling techniques.”

Hager says new research gives trainers better understanding of the effects of concussions, and can lead to improved diagnostic tools to determine the severity of a head injury right after it happens.

“The way we treat concussions, and the way we return athletes to play is going to continue to change,” said Hager, who’s been a certified athletic trainer for six years.

“Right now, there’s not a lot of very good diagnostic tools out there, so we rely a lot on what the athletes are telling us.”

Hager points out new equipment like improved football helmets are designed to prevent skull fractures. She says the proper usage of new equipment and techniques when confronting an opponent are the key to preventing a concussion.

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