A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects your brain function. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or a rapid movement of the head. Additionally, they can occur from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.
Due to the extremely physical nature of contact sports, concussions are common in student athletes. Unfortunately, they’re not always taken as seriously as they should be.
There is no single indicator for concussion. The signs and symptoms of a concussion can take time to appear and can become more noticeable during activities that require more concentration. Symptoms often reported include:
- difficulty thinking clearly
- difficulty concentrating
- feeling sluggish or foggy, headache
- balance problems or dizziness
- sensitivity to light or noise
- more emotional than usual
In rare cases a blood clot may form in the brain and cause increased pressure. Go to the hospital immediately if any of the following signs are exhibited:
- One pupil larger than the other
- Drowsy or can’t be awakened
- Headache that gets worse and does not go away
- Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
- Loss of consciousness
How We Can Help
A preseason baseline screen is a great place to start. We have partnered with Sway Medical to do concussion screens. Their system provides screening tools for establishing baseline scores in balance, memory, and reaction. This data can be used to determine when the athlete is ready to progress in the return to sport protocol. It can also be beneficial in establishing a post-concussion rehab program if symptoms persist and treatment is needed.
By doing the baseline screen, if your student athlete is injured, we will have the information needed to know when it’s safe to return to sport. Without a baseline screen, it can be subjective to how the athlete feels (or says they feel), which can result in them being released too early. Early release with a concussion is extremely dangerous and often leads to a second, and worse, concussion.
While no parent plans on their child getting a concussion, the reality is it can happen. Having a baseline concussion screen is the best way to insure your student athlete doesn’t return to sport too early. Consider it to be like insurance: you hope you don’t need it, but if you do you’ll be glad you have it.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a baseline concussion screen, give us a call!