In the past, concussion recovery and return to sport was heavily based on subjective information received from the athlete, and this lack of objective measurement resulted in mismanagement in the treatment and return to activity for many. Science in the area of concussions continues to evolve and has repeatedly demonstrated that the long-term effects of concussion, and especially repeated concussions, can be debilitating and in some cases contributes to fatality. Concussion research has led the way in the development of simple, but comprehensive brain testing for individuals. These tests can be completed pre-season in an uninjured state, so that objective baseline scores can be attained for comparison to post injury states. This system leads to safer, more objective decision making regarding returning to sport and activity. In line with the current focus of attention, Dynamic Physiotherapy has taken a pro-active approach to the management of concussions. We have been administering baseline concussion screens to hundreds of local athletes in the last couple years. For our clients who have suffered concussions, our ability to compare their post-injury scores to pre-injury, has resulted in much safer decision making to assist in their recovery and ultimate return to activity and sport. For those patients without baseline testing, we would still test them post injury to get a baseline from which we can refer to, as they go through the rehabilitation process.
There are various concussion screen tests available, and these tests continue to evolve as concussion research progresses. We have recently redeveloped our screening protocol and post concussion assessment techniques in attempt to best measure the different systems affected by concussion. We have made attempts to make it as accessible and affordable as possible. The screen can be administered in under 30 mins and is inexpensive relative to other measurement tools.
Research has shown that many patients with concussion present with vestibular dysfunction. As a clinic that provides vestibular therapy, we are well positioned to address these needs as they arise.
For our young athletes under the age of 19, we are following the guidelines and protocols developed by the Pan Am Concussion program, a multi-disciplinary clinical program affiliated with Pan Am Clinic, Health Sciences Centre – Children’s Hospital, the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, led by Dr Michael Ellis, a respected leader in concussion research and management.