they don’t have to be scary.
Concussions and their long-term effects are one of the biggest challenges athletes face today. With all the media attention given to concussions, many people fear such an injury for themselves or their children. The good news is that much more is known today about concussions, how to prevent them and how to treat them. And further good news is that Dr. Colin can provide an advanced approach to concussion rehabilitation through his training in the Shift Concussion Management Program. Through this rehabilitation, athletes can be guided safely back to full participation in their sport, and also in their lives.
A concussion is a form of brain injury resulting from a direct or indirect blow to the head, face, or jaw causing an alteration in brain function. Concussions can produce a wide array of symptoms, and the timeline for recovery also varies widely from one athlete to another, making it impossible to use a “cookie-cutter” approach to concussion rehabilitation and return-to-participation timelines.
Consequently, a growing emphasis has been placed on objective pre-participation (“baseline”) testing protocols that can be used to track an athlete’s recovery and serve as a tangible measurement for return-to-play. Baseline testing is a vital component to the proper management and rehabilitation of concussive injuries.
Computerized cognitive testing is a recommended component of both baseline and post-injury concussion management, and is designed to assess a variety of performance factors including memory, attention span, reaction time and problem solving.
Another important piece of the concussion management strategy is physical testing. Pre-season (baseline) and post-injury testing procedures include an assessment of balance and visual function. Having this done at both times provides objective information in determining an athlete’s readiness to return to sport.
If you have sustained a concussion-like injury, it’s important to see your physician and Dr. Colin as early as possible. You will want to limit the amount of impairment as well as expedite recovery as much as possible. Rehabilitation may include such options as:
- individualized resting strategies and home instruction
- specific recommendations around employment/ academic demands
- manual therapy for associated complaints such as neck pain or whiplash
- screening and referral for vision therapy if required
- balance, coordination and vestibular-based rehabilitation
- physical exertion testing and exercise plans for return-to-sport
Return-to-play preparation may need to be gradual, and Dr. Colin can provide a standardized approach to supervised physical exertion testing when the athlete is in the appropriate phase of recovery.
Ultimately, education and prevention are the goals of the Shift Concussion Management program. But if you or your child should experience concussion, it doesn’t have to be scary. Contact kw health connection so we can help!