Concussions….Is there any HOPE?

Concussions….Is there any HOPE?

Written by Scott Thoma – Manager Partner – Athletic Training Outreach Coordinator.

Last week news came out about the cause of death of former Iowa Hawkeye and New York Giants football player Tyler Sash.  You can read a great article written in the New York Times here:

Being an Iowa Football season ticket holder and in a healthcare profession that deals with concussions, this news was not surprising, but still hard to stomach none the less.

Concussions are dangerous – there is no doubt about that – are they preventable?  I personally don’t think so.  Are you able to play athletics, sustain a concussion, and go on to live a healthy normal life following the injury?  If managed correctly…… yes.

So what is a concussion?  Here is a graphic that sums it up nicely:

Simply – a mild brain injury as a result of forces applied to your head. The symptoms of a concussion are also listed in the picture above.

The (somewhat) easy part is recognizing the symptoms – some of what may be very hard to pick up on if someone is trying to mask their true symptoms.  The hard part is managing them, and communicating to athletes, parents, and coaches, that symptom management is the number one key in dealing with concussions.

How do we at PRA handle concussions?

We test nearly all of our athletes pre-season with what is called the Impact Test.  You can find it here This is a pre-season “physical” for your brain.  It allows us to have baseline measurements of brain function.

After a concussion is suspected we will re-visit the Impact Test and use this, along with symptom identification to determine if one is ready to return to participation.

After a determination is made, the individual is taken through a gradual, progressive, exertion program in which they are monitored regarding how they are feeling, and not allowed to progress until certain criteria are met.

After satisfying all requirements the individual is allowed to return to light practice, then full practice, then full game participation.

PRA takes your health very seriously and offer pre-season and in-season concussion testing to all area athletes.

You need your brain for the rest of your life .  I have a quote that I have used after seeing the Preston Plevretes Story on ESPN E60.

“I could have sat out one more game- now I have to sit out the rest of my life. ”

Let PRA help you stay in the game.  Contact us with any questions you may have regarding our concussion management program.


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