By Jon Stiffler, PTA, Sports Center Manager
What is a Concussion?
A Concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Most concussions occur from a blow to the head. However, concussions can also occur from things such as whipping the head and having the upper body violently shaken. There are several sports in which concussions are common which include, but are not limited to football, soccer, hockey, basketball, and boxing. “For an athlete suffering from a concussion, it is important to seek the assistance of an appropriate health care provider who is knowledgeable with the management of concussions and their return to sport.”, states Dr. Michael Yorio, the Jacksonville Jaguars Internal Medicine Physician and Internal Medicine/Sports Medicine Physician at the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute in Jacksonville, Florida.
Symptoms of a Concussion
Symptoms of a concussion can include but are not limited to headaches and problems with concentration, decreased balance and coordination, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, sensitivity to light, hindered sleeping patterns, and loss of memory. Should any of these symptoms be present, a concussion may be possible. If you suspect a concussion, immediately seek the medical attention of a Physician or medical professional.
Treatment of concussions consists of time and rest for symptoms to reside and supervised return to activity. The first stage of return to play begins with no activity while symptoms subside. Once symptoms have not been present for greater than 24 hours, stage 2 consists of light aerobic exercises at <70% maximum such as walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bike. Next one will begin stage 3 consisting of sport specific balance and coordination based exercises which are non-contact. Stage 4 consists of strength training through resistance exercises and non-contact complex agility, balance, and coordination drills which cognitively load the individual. In stage 5 the individual begins returning to full contact practice in order to restore confidence and simulate game situations. After completion of stages 1-5 one may be cleared by a Physician for return to competition should they feel they are ready.
Dr. Yorio of JOI has a Concussion Clinic and a return to sport program. If you would like to learn more about this program, call JOI-2000.