A concussion is a transient alteration in brain function due to an injury. Sometimes this injury results from an impact type injury to the head from an object or another person. Fortunately, most concussion injuries resolve quickly and without long term damage. If you suspect a concussion injury has occurred, immediately stop activity allowing for mental and physical rest. Seek medical attention before returning to sports or activity. At Sports Health Northwest, we specialize in sports related concussion and want to work closely and carefully with you to help you get back to normal mental and physical activity as soon as it is safe to do so.
Sports Related Concussion (SRC)
Concussions are common, complex, and have variability in how the symptoms present. In adolescents, the self-reported prevalence of concussion is around 20 percent. Most SRCs occur among boys playing collision sports like tackle football, ice hockey, and lacrosse. Among girls, soccer and lacrosse have the highest incidence.
A concussion is a transient alteration in brain function due to an injury. Typically, this injury results from a direct trauma to the head, face, or neck from an object or another person. At times, a significant force to the body resulting in sudden deceleration can also cause a concussion. Fortunately, most concussion injuries resolve quickly and without long term damage.
Any sign of SRC, such as headache, confusion, dizziness, and memory difficulties should result in prompt removal from the child or teen from competition until further assessment by a health care provider trained in concussion such as a sports injury specialist.
Cognitive (brain) rest and physical rest are important initial interventions after a concussion. Seeking care from a physician or other trained health care provider is important since recovery from concussion is variable from one person to the next and a SRC trained sports medicine doctor can help with the timing for return to school and sport.
Additionally, after a brief period of mental and physical rest, studies are showing benefit from gradually increasing activity in a supervised, progressive manner to help support SRC recovery. Strict physical rest beyond 2 days after a SRC should be avoided in teens and young adults as studies show this can actually exacerbate concussion symptoms. Early supervised and graded physical activity under the direction of a medical professional can help reduce the duration of concussion symptoms.
In addition to return to play (RTP) after a concussion, return to learn for student athletes is a high priority as it can be easy to fall behind in school. Supportive care from a concussion trained health care provider like a sports medicine doctor working with the family and school academic team can help the student athlete return back to school and sport.
At Sports Health Northwest, we understand that sports related concussions are serious injuries and require a multi-disciplinary approach to optimize recovery and return to school and sports. We want to work closely and carefully with you in an individualized way to help you get back to normal mental and physical activity as soon as it is safe to do so.