Returning to Play After a Concussion

Returning to Play After a Concussion

Returning to Play After a Concussion

At any level of sport, players have concussions with alarming regularity. The days of harsh philosophy must end. Recent studies on the long-term effects of a concussion have shown that high school students and young players should be especially diligent when it comes to a brain injury.

The history of concussions accumulated over years of sports can lead to debilitating neurological problems.

MTBI, a slight head injury, often results from a sudden blow to the head, like a soccer game. In fact, football players experience a high percentage of concussions, and the sport receives the most attention for these types of injuries. In almost all sports, there is a risk of concussion. However, in recent years, girls involved in football, cheerleading and lacrosse have reported an increasing number of these injuries.

concussion management physiotherapy

A concussion causes several symptoms, such as headache, loss of consciousness, amnesia, nausea and thinking problems. In the past, players could suffer a concussion and were allowed to return to the game. Recently, many measures have been taken to stop this practice and force some young people to fully recover from a head injury before they are allowed to return to the game.

Team coaches and doctors often use CNAD, or computerized neuropsychological evaluation devices, in high school students and other young players. At the beginning of the season, players pass a test to create a baseline. After being hit in the field and suspecting a concussion, they pass the test again. This method helps coaches determine if a player has suffered a concussion. Although the evidence shows, pediatricians recommend that parents bring any child who received more than a blow to the head for evaluation.

The CDC has developed guidelines to determine when athletes should be able to return to the game. The Heads Up program for doctors says that no child or adult should return to the field until all the symptoms of a concussion have disappeared. This rule applies to physical and cognitive symptoms. For many people suffering from concussion, this process takes only one or two days, but for others it can take weeks or, in exceptional cases, months. If the patient receives even a small lump in the head before a concussion is cured, secondary concussion management physiotherapy may occur. That is why a thorough evaluation is necessary before any athlete returns to their sport.

The CDC also created a procedure for the gradual reintroduction of patients with concussion in the field. Patients should not have any symptoms at each level before moving on to the next. Steps:

  • Complete rest
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Specific sports training
  • Exercises and training without contact.
  • Full contact game learning (supervised)
  • Return to full game contact


These rules annoy many players, as they often feel good, only with residual pain and vague thinking. Players who complete these steps will have a lower risk of secondary concussion.

George Abbot

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