School is back in session!

That means school sports are starting to ramp up. Sport-related concussions are common injuries, especially in contact and limited contact sports. In this blog I was hoping to highlight how you can identify a potential concussion, how to prevent concussions, and to discuss a physiotherapy approach to concussion management. 

Do you know how to identify concussions?

As a spectator, coach, fan, and parent, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the Concussion Recognition Tool (the CRT6). This tool is developed for non-medical individuals to identify and immediately manage a suspected concussion. It does not provide a diagnosis, but a safe way to remove an athlete from sport. It’s wise to have this tool handy when spectating and coaching sport. The CRT6 is most easily available here: I’ve also included pictures below.

How do we prevent concussions?

Prevention as a whole is very difficult. There are some positive outlooks that support neuro-muscular training in warm-ups, and mouthguard use (especially in ice hockey) to help reduce the risk of sport related concussion.

Neuro-muscular training comes to you from the University of Calgary, developed in Rugby:–endurance

Check out the Neck Control and Endurance section for individual and partner assisted neck strength and endurance exercises!

When is it appropriate to bring kids into the clinic for an assessment?

After the initial 24-48 hours of rest, early assessment is always best. Most (~90%) pediatric concussions get better on their own within 6 weeks. Despite that, early physiotherapy may help speed that process up. Rest is important early on (24-48 hours), followed by a slow re-introduction to easy and gentle activity. As Physiotherapists, we are well-equipped to help evaluate and direct care for the multiple affected systems and guide early re-introduction to activity. We are also able to help with a gradual return to school and sport. At times, children may need a bit more time and space for pacing. School and all of their extra-curricular activities may be too much to handle initially. Physiotherapists can advocate on behalf of students with school teachers and sports coaches to find the best approach to optimize recovery.

This Blog was written by Physiotherapist Tim Schmidt. To book an appointment with Tim, or any of our other therapists, call the clinic at (250) 314-0788, or click here to book online.