Do you know a young athlete who has recently experienced a concussion? Over the past few years, concussions have become a hot topic in the sporting world. A concussion is defined as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which is the result of a forceful motion of the head, causing a brief alteration to brain function. Concussions do not usually cause structural damage to the brain, and because of this, cannot be imaged on MRI or CT scan. Physiotherapists are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions and take great care to ensure proper recovery and return to activities and sport.
Concussions are diagnosed based on symptoms and a comprehensive clinical assessment. The most typical symptoms of concussion include headache, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and difficulty thinking/concentrating. The leading causes of concussion are sports, motor vehicle accidents, falls, and assault. Young athletes in contact sports tend to be at the highest risk, and the most common sports include hockey, football, and rugby.
One of the most beneficial things a young athlete can do prior to contact sport participation is to have a baseline concussion assessment. This baseline testing is a combination of neuropsychological and physical tests, which provide the physiotherapist a baseline reference point in case of any future concussion. Then, if a possible concussion occurs, the physiotherapist has the athlete undergo the same tests in order to detect any possible deficits. This baseline testing allows physiotherapists to detect specific areas of dysfunction; which then allows them to create a specific rehabilitation protocol, and assists them with return-to-play decisions.
North End Spine & Sports physiotherapists Kayla Comstock and Derek Geldrich have taken additional concussion training to both treat concussions and perform these assessments. If your child participates in contact sports or has ever experienced a previous concussion, call us today to book a baseline concussion assessment!