Concussion Management

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions that remain undiagnosed or with delayed period of time. At Holy Cross Sports Medicine we use a multispecialty team to best evaluate, rehabilitate, and return athletes and non-athletes alike to school, sport, or work, safely and quickly.

Concussions are common, particularly those who play contact sport, such as football. Every concussion causes some level of injury to the brain. These types of injuries need time and rest to heal properly. Most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild, and most athletes eventually recover fully. 

Common signs/symptoms of concussion include, but are not limited to:

•Headache

•Nausea 

•Vomiting

•Dizziness

•Imbalance

•Fatigue

•Trouble sleeping

•Sleeping too much

•Drowsiness

•Sensitivity to light

•Sensitivity to noise

•Sadness

•Nervousness

•Numbness/tingling

•Feeling slow

•Feel “in a fog”

•Difficulty concentrating

•Difficulty remembering

Research shows that approximately 10% of all contact sport athletes will experience at least one head injury while participating in sports, but a concussion can occur with any type of activity. After an injury, you may experience symptoms for days, weeks or even months. Returning to activity too soon can lead to potentially serious conditions.

Gradual return to play protocol may be initiated after the cognitive concussion tests are back to baseline or if no baseline was completed, the tests show no symptoms and the score is within normal ranges for that particular gender/age/individual cognitive level. Once this happens, it is likely that a 5-tier approach is observed: No activity, light aerobic exercise, sports specific exercise, non-contact training drills and full contact, respectively. You may not be cleared for further activity pending clinical clearance after 24 hours of being symptom free. Holy Cross Sports Medicine team is passionate about assisting in the education, prevention, recognition, and treatment of concussions of all active individuals. Proper management significantly decreases the chance of long-term and potentially permanent consequences.

Baseline

It is important in the management of concussions to do concussion baseline testing. At Holy Cross we offer the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) tool to assess an individual’s neurocognitive function BEFORE a concussion happens. This way, should a concussion occur at a later date, we would better be able to gauge the severity of the injury and your path to recovery using existing baseline and new test measures.

For more information please contact:

Holy Cross Sports Medicine

954-958-4800