Currently, there are no studies that fully support mouth guards as a preventative measure for concussion injuries. There are some studies that show mouth guards may protect against concussions and others that show the opposite. In fact, Hockey Canada states that “their role in preventing or reducing the severity of concussions has not been scientifically proven.”
That said, athletes should wear a mouth guard, and we believe it should be mandatory in sports. It’s unclear if what you put in your mouth or around your skull will not change the forces acting on the brain. Ultimately, there is a need for additional research.
Importantly, a mouthguard is proven to help prevent jaw and dental injuries. So, we recommend wearing one. But, we must understand that a mouth guard will not prevent or limit your risk for concussion. Dr. Marshall discusses in detail in this episode.
Vestibular Rehabilitation in Concussion Care
There are a number of studies that look at vestibular rehabilitation for sports-related concussion where return to play is an outcome measure. In fact, one of the better studies was based out of the University of Calgary and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The study concluded that patients that received multimodal physical therapy treatment “were more likely to achieve medical clearance before 8 weeks when compared with rest in individuals with persistent symptoms” following sport related concussion.
Is rest the best approach to concussion care? Definitely not.
In this episode, Dr. Marshall discusses the pros and cons of some of these studies as well as the benefits of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to concussion care. Vestibular rehabilitation is often one component of concussion management. Other strategies may include manual therapy of the neck, cervical spine rehabilitation and vision therapy, for example.
Complete Concussions specializes in collaborative, evidence-based concussion care. Our evidence-based training programs and integrated healthcare technologies empower multidisciplinary teams to implement standardized care for those impacted by concussions.
Our network and patient database enables large-scale research to advance concussion management, and ultimately, the long-term health and well-being of concussion patients and also teach them some concussion care at home.
We analyze leading research to develop best-in-class approaches to concussion care.