Concussion Management Goes Beyond the Football Field
Friday, February 11, 2022
This Sunday, over 100 million fans around the globe will be huddled around their screens to watch the NFL championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, who will be appearing in their first title game in more than 30 years.
A lot in the NFL has changed since then — two-point conversions, instant replay — but perhaps nothing bigger than the emphasis on safety.
The NFL in 2011 implemented its Game Day Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol, which establishes processes for assessing and removing players exhibiting concussion from the field, and outlines a five-step, return-to-participation protocol. (According to a 2021 report from the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) the NFL recorded nearly 250 concussions a year over the previous five seasons; COVID-related scheduling changes and reduced games resulted in just 172 concussions in 2020.)
Concussion is part of the game of football, but it also can be a part of everyday life for regular people, too. Sports, car accidents, or even just a fall can lead to someone experiencing a concussion.
Because concussions can happen to anyone at any time, UI Health's Concussion Management Program (CMP) is ready to provide acute care treatment for individuals experiencing a concussion.
"Our program provides experienced, comprehensive assessment to best optimize any subsequent treatment planning and overall recovery for patients who have sustained a concussion," says Dr. Jason Soble, a UI Health clinical neuropsychologist and part of the Concussion Management Program.
Concussion symptoms can vary, ranging from dizziness to mood changes. If you sustain a head injury and experience physical, cognitive, or emotional problems including headache, not feeling like your normal self, and difficulty concentrating or completing tasks, you should seek out medical evaluation and treatment for a possible concussion.
The Concussion Management Program at UI Health brings together an experienced team of clinicians from Physical Therapy, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Neuropsychology, Neuropsychiatry, Radiology, and Ophthalmology to treat the myriad of symptoms that can emerge after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).
Utilizing state-of-art testing techniques along with research-informed treatment methods, the CMP Team develops individually-tailored treatment protocols designed for the unique circumstances of every patient's needs.
Dr. Justin Payette specializes in physical therapy and shares: "As physical therapists, we have a unique skillset in screening/evaluating key musculoskeletal contributors to concussions symptoms. These include cervicogenic, vestibular, and autonomic impairments.
"We as physical therapists can help to address these specific impairments to help improve symptoms in the short term and potentially prevent some long-term effects," he says.
Visit the Concussion Management Program to learn more.