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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

CSM 2010--Concussion and Mild TBI

Published February 19, 2010 3:13 PM by Elizabeth Puliti
In a session titled, "Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury," speakers Barbara Hoogenboom, PT, EdD, Susan L Whitney, PT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA, Robert Cantu, MD, Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC, and former pro-wrestler Christopher Nowinski elaborated on this message: an injured athlete's brain needs sufficient rest time before he is able to return to the field.   

Dr. Guskiewicz stated that an athlete's risk of sustaining another concussion after an initial injury increases "exponentially."

Return to play should only be considered when all of the following guidelines are met, he stressed:

  • The athlete is 18 or older
  • The athlete has no loss of consciousness
  • The athlete has no amnesia
  • There are no other symptoms
  • The athlete passes all functional tests

If you are unsure, he told physical therapists in the audience, withhold the athlete from returning to play.

In an article I wrote in 2007, I spoke with a physical therapist who felt it was his job to educate the community about the signs of a sports concussion.

"We recently hosted a free lecture, open to the public, on sports-related concussions and the high school athlete," he told me. "Our guest speakers were Robert Cantu, MD, a neurologist and nationally recognized leader in the field of concussions in sports, and Chris Nowinski, former WWE wrestler and Harvard University football player, who's wrestling career was cut short by multiple concussions."

Want to raise awareness? In addition to lectures, PTs can offer to speak to local community, school and church groups. Even youth hockey or football programs can serve as platforms to increase education and awareness.

Get involved today!

posted by Elizabeth Puliti

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