Concussions have become the biggest concern in contact sports, and for good reason. A brain injury can be life-altering in a split second. One of the biggest decisions that needs to be made in concussion treatment is when to release an athlete and send them back to the field of play.
There are a number of factors that go into making this decision. Balance testing, eye movement, ability to process information etc. These are all largely subjective, and it can be a little difficult to feel fully confident that you are making the right decision.
The easiest way to get around this is baseline concussion testing. These tests are performed before the season begins, when the athlete is rested and healthy. Memory, balance, processing, and other brain functions are tested and assigned a score. This makes a post injury comparison very easy.
Ideally, within a day after an incident the athlete should be retested. This gives insight into how serious the brain injury is, and to what level the brain is compromised. In more severe cases, sending a kid back to school too quickly can be detrimental. Overtaxing an injured brain can cause a flare up in symptoms.
The next big step is deciding when to release the athlete back to practice and games. After an initial concussion, the chances of a second concussion go up exponentially. This happens for two reasons if the brain isn’t fully healed. First, if reflexes and processing hasn’t fully returned, the chances of taking a hit or having a collision go up. Second, chemically it takes a while for the brain to return to balance. If this process hasn’t been completed, the brain is unable to handle a second blow and is much more easily injured.
If a baseline test has been performed, this decision becomes much easier. If the athlete scores in the same range on the post injury test as the baseline, then a confident decision to release them to play can be made.
The testing is easy and takes about 15 minutes on an Ipad. The scores are then saved on a secure server that can be immediately accessed and used for comparison.
We offer these tests in our office. We are also available for larger-scale testing for schools, and sports leagues Call us at 239-248-8810 for more information on in office or on site testing.
Dr. Lee Angle
Dr. Lee Angle is originally from southern West Virginia. After having his life changed through Upper Cervical Care he chose to pursue it as a career. He has been practicing Upper Cervical Chiropractic for over nine years. Dr. Angle previously worked as a certified personal trainer. This background allows him to educate his patients on proper movement and exercises to speed their recovery and enhance their Upper Cervical Care.