The treatment of concussions is complex and each case is unique. Management and recovery is a balancing act that must take into account the history of the athlete (including their overall health at the time of incident and prior concussions), the severity of the incident, the initial response, and long term monitoring. It requires an ongoing assessment of the athlete’s abilities and performance.
Appropriate management is essential to reduce the risk of long-term symptoms and complications such as Second Impact Syndrome (SIS), which occurs with successive concussions without proper recovery. Management of concussion requires a systemic approach with assessment and treatment. The treatment team (clinical sport psychologist, physician, athletic trainer, etc.) must closely monitor cognitive, physical, and balance changes to effectively plan treatment, and eventually make the return-to-play decision.
Our team believes baseline testing is a good first step, but we do not believe in its current form it is sufficient by itself. The brain is such a complex organ that to assume a single assessment (computer based or not) is sufficient to make decisions about well-being and return-to-play is not best practice.
Our clinical and sport psychologists are sensitive to the complexities that athletes face in recovering from a concussion. Our approach utilizes collaborative care with a physician or other allied health providers. We work first-hand with the athlete and incorporate state-of-the-art technology to gain objective measurement of cognitive, physiological, and balance functioning.
We are active advocates for our clients through return-to-school or return-to-play decision, through collaboration with school officials, coaches, trainers, and physicians. We are sensitive to all that the aftermath of sports-related concussions entails and aim at providing innovative care to athletes dealing with adjustment, injury, and recovery.
Concussions (or mild traumatic brain injuries) result from a complex pathophysiological process that comes from direct or indirect head trauma. Loss of consciousness often does not occur and symptoms can vary greatly. Athletes are left cope with physical, cognitive, and emotional dysfunction. While most fully recover, some symptoms can persistent and interfere with cognitive / academic performance, sport / recreational competition, and social living.
For additional information, see the Center for Disease
Control webpage on Concussions in Sports.