After experiencing a concussion injury, lingering functional deficits can manifest, particularly in cases of post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and blurred vision can all indicate…
Concussion Comeback: Return to Play After a Sports Concussion
Returning to play after a head injury requires a systematic approach to ensure an athlete’s safety. To navigate this process, we present clinical guidelines designed to lead athletes, coaches, parents,…
In this episode of Ask Concussion Doc – Episode 13 with Dr. Cameron Marshall, we examine concussion recovery. How do we define it? What’s the difference between asymptomatic and full metabolic recovery? When can an athlete return to activity?
We also discuss what to do immediately after a concussion, and when should the initial assessment happen.
Lastly, we look at concussion prevention. Does neck strength help? What about neck stiffness? Also, helmets and mouthguard are NOT proven to fully protect against concussion. So, what can we actually do to prevent them?
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Initial Assessment Following Concussion
Ideally, the initial assessment following a suspected concussion should happen on the sidelines. There are objective signs that someone watching the game should be able to identify. Some of these concussion symptoms are very short in duration, but may include balance impairments, loss of consciousness, fencing position, and blank or vacant stares, among others. If this is the case, always sit the player out until assessed by a trained healthcare practitioner.
Recognize. Remove. When in doubt, sit them out!
Most often, particularly at the amateur level, healthcare practitioners are not present on the sidelines. Therefore, the sooner an athlete can get an initial assessment, the better. Sources suggest that seeing a healthcare practitioner with training and experience in concussion management, that can give an injured athlete appropriate guidance and recommendations in the early stages, can be extremely effective for recovery. Check out these top 5 most effective evidence-based treatment options for concussion.
Dr. Marshall also discusses some of the red flags to look out for following a suspected or confirmed concussion.
Is concussion recovery defined as a complete absence of symptoms? For how long? What if a patient or athlete suffered multiple concussions. How does this impact concussion recovery? Does it prolong recovery? How does this impact return to play? These are some of the many questions we address during this episode.
Importantly, recovery from a clinical standpoint is different from recovery from a physiologic standpoint. This was highlighted in the international consensus statement on concussion in sport. The physiologic time for recovery is when your brain actually recovers. The clinical time for recovery is when your symptoms go away. Unfortunately, those two things do not coincide. That’s what makes concussion extremely difficult to manage – particularly with athletes.
The problem is, symptom resolution may not mean full recovery of the brain. In fact, the brain may still be in a vulnerable state. Any additional impact during this state could cause another concussion with less force, and that second concussion could have an additive effect and prolong recovery.
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.