Concussion – What do I do and who do I believe?
Concussions are the hot topic right now and have been on the top of everyone’s conversation for the last few years with Sidney Crosby’s injury, an unfortunate death of high school rugby athlete and now the Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport released July, 28th 2017.
In short, the Canadian Guidelines identify 7 key areas
- Pre-season Education
- Head injury recognition
- Onsite Medical Assessment
- Medical Assessment
- Concussion Management
- Multi-disciplinary Concussion Care
- Return to Sport
In the 7th Key Area, according to the guideline, Return to Sport should be determined by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner. Return to Learn is addressed in the guideline, finally, which is something that Apple Creek has been preaching for years with the guidance of Dr. Carson and Bill Crothers High School.
In 2017, Apple Creek Sports Medicine Centre partnered up with Complete Concussion Management (CCMI) – a well-rounded, evidence based concussion protocol that has many great add on features. One of the great things that attracted us to the program is their completeness of the program. When looking at the 7 guidelines, I can say with absolute confidence that Apple Creek can address any of those guidelines both clinically and in the field. It is up to the concussed individual, parents and guardians to determine to what detail they participate. We conduct preseason screens, provide on-site medical care for sporting events, provide manual therapies and appropriate exercise based education for management and use various practitioners to assist in every level.
Apple Creek has done many concussion management educational seminars for athletes, teachers, coaches and parents. We conduct preseason screen / baseline testing according to the CCMI program that can provide information on an individual’s cognitive function, balance, reaction time and grip strength – each domain has research behind it to prove that concussions can affect any of those areas. The reason it is important to conduct these baseline tests, in my opinion, is because it can give us insight on how a brain operated before a concussion occurred and then provide quantifiable data to confirm the level of cognitive performance the athlete has post-concussion. This is valuable because it then provides us with information on a rehabilitation front, return to learn plan and then a return to play plan.
When talking about education on concussion to athletes, parents & spouses, coaches and teachers – with the increased knowledge that the Apple Creek staff obtained through the CCMI program, we feel we can present honest and clear direction on how to manage a concussion correctly. While the resolution of symptoms is different for each individual, everyone can benefit on knowledge of best sleep practices, diet recommendations and how to manage symptoms.
Through the CCMI program, the trained practitioners at Apple Creek have now implemented Vestibular – Occulomotor Retraining, the Buffalo Treadmill Test, the Blackhawks Test, and various balance training exercises to assist with the symptom recovery and prepare for return to life and activity.
The CCMI program has many other features which are too long to go into detail about in this post, but you can check it out at their website. Some of the features include online learning for physicians, coaches and teachers. There is an excellent phone app that can help bridge the communication gap between therapist, coaches and parents. Finally, CCMI provides the certified practitioner, and the public, with excellent monthly summaries of current research. This is one of the bonuses of all the media and concussion coverage, the academic world is really investing a lot of time and energy into gaining a better understanding of the anatomical, physiological and cognitive processes that an injured athlete, and their brain, is going through.
If you have any questions regarding the new Canadian Concussion
Guideline in Sport or regarding the CCMI program that we run at Apple Creek Sport Medicine Centre – please reach out @applecreeksport on twitter, our facebook page facebook.com/applecreeksportsmedicine or email me personally email@example.com