According to University of Pittsburgh Neurosurgery, in the United States, athletes suffer from roughly 300,000 concussions every year.
A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can cause a disturbance in brain function.
When a concussion occurs, there may or may not be a visible injury on the outside of the body even though symptoms are present. Immediate signs or symptoms could include headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, fatigue, or unconsciousness. In certain severe concussions, symptoms can linger for weeks or even months, due to a complication called post-concussion syndrome.
For parents, athletes, coaches, and others involved with youth athletics, Physical Therapy of Evangelical offers a concussion management program. Targeted at athletes of middle school age and up, the program starts with a baseline screen before an athletic season begins using the technology of the BioDex Objective Balance Assessment Tool.
Evangelical’s BioDex equipment registers balance, one of the key physical functions impacted by concussion, in four distinct scenarios, firm surface with eyes open, firm surface with eyes closed, foam surface with eyes open, and foam surface with eyes closed.
In addition to the BioDex screen, the concussion program at Evangelical includes a Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) test to assess memory and concentration, and a graded symptoms checklist that will be used for a comparison if an injury occurs.
After a concussion injury occurs, using the BioDex screens, the experts at Physical Therapy of Evangelical work with primary care physicians who make the final call of whether or not the athlete can return to play.
Concussion screens should be done yearly to accommodate for changes that occur in young athletes as they mature physically.
In this informative video, Evangelical’s panel of experts discuss how to recognize and treat concussions:
For more information about baseline concussion screening call 570-524-2600.