According to the most recent Zurich consensus statement, a concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) as it is sometimes called, is a complex process affecting the brain induced by bio-mechanical forces.
The forces that they are referring to are acceleration or impulse forces delivered to the brain. Concussions cause a temporary dysfunction in the involved nerves, where they don’t work properly for a period of time and may cause any one, or more, of the following signs or symptoms:
If you, or your child is experiencing ANY of these symptoms following a significant hit or blow to the head or body, you should have a high suspicion of a concussion injury and seek medical attention immediately.
Generally, under proper management, most athletes recover completely from their concussions. However, if not managed properly, and the athlete is allowed to return-to-play too early, they are at risk of a severe, potentially permanent, or even fatal brain injury, should they sustain another concussion while in the 'dysfunctional' phase (where the brain is still healing).
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW to learn more:
What is a concussion?
In August 2014 Pro Motion Physiotherapy became a certified Complete Concussion Management Clinic, joining a nationwide group of clinics dedicated to offering the highest level of concussion care to athletes of all ages.
As part of this commitment we have implemented, and now offer cutting edge baseline concussion testing and research-based “Return-to-Learn” and Return-to-Play protocols. These programs are designed to work in conjunction with each athlete’s school, teachers, parents, trainers, coaches, and family doctors.
We work together with all those involved to ensure that the athlete is being properly managed each and every step of the way. This type of concussion management was only seen in professional sports organizations with no such programs available to children and adolescent athletes…until now!
The first, and by far the most important, step in properly managing concussions actually comes before the injury even happens--before the season even starts!
Under the current medical guidelines for a concussion injury, return-to-play decisions are made using a ‘symptom-based’ approach.
However, medical research has repeatedly shown that following a concussion, symptoms are actually the first thing to resolve despite continued deficits in the individuals baseline neurocognitive functioning, balance, reaction time, visual tracking etc.
Baseline testing should be repeated at least once per year and should involve more than just online/computer-based neurocognitive testing. Medical research has repeatedly demonstrated online or computer-based testing to be insufficient on it’s own.
Several studies have shown, and several world-wide consensus statements have concluded, that by themselves, online testing may over-estimate recovery and send players back into harms way . It is important to off-set online testing with a full protocol of physical and in-person baseline neurological testing (see section on 'The necessity of baseline testing' in block above).