Take Charge Now

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CoplinHeadshotBConcussions in sports are an important issue due to the large number of athletes that sustain a concussion. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests as many as 3.8 million concussions annually with an estimated 50% being unreported. Deciding when an athlete has fully recovered from a concussion and can safely return to play is a difficult challenge facing healthcare providers. However, recognizing a concussion and properly responding when it first occurs can help prevent further injury.
A concussion is a disturbance in brain function that occurs following either a blow to the head or as a result of rapid acceleration of the head from a hit elsewhere on the body. Adapted from the Zurich 2008 Concussion Consensus Statement, a concussion is further defined as follows:
A concussion may be caused either by a blow to the head or other part of the body.
A concussion does not require a loss of consciousness and occurs less than 10% of the time.
A concussion can cause a disturbance in normal brain function, but there usually is no detectable structural damage on standard neuroimaging such as an MRI.  
A concussion typically results in clinical symptoms.
A small percentage of cases may result in post-concussive symptoms that may be prolonged and, at times, result in long term consequences.
Following a suspected concussion, more serious injury should be ruled out first. On the sideline, a detailed assessment should be performed that includes a symptom checklist, cognitive testing and balance test(s). The status of the athlete should be documented and continued to be monitored closely on the sideline to ensure no worsening of signs or symptoms. The athlete should be given post-injury instructions of the importance of rest and to schedule medical follow-up id not indicated immediately. The more common symptoms that occur with a concussion include one or more of the following:
• Headache  •  Memory loss  •  Vomiting  •  Confusion  •  Dizziness  •  Drowsiness  •  Unsteadiness  •  Weakness  •  Numbness and/or Tingling  •  Foggy headedness 
If the status of the athlete worsens then it is recommended to seek medical attention ASAP
Following any concussion, a comprehensive examination should be conducted. A neurological examination along with more comprehensive testing of computerized cognitive and balance testing provided by a healthcare team that specializes in concussions. Such providers most commonly include physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists
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Tom Coplin PT
Central Physical Therapy