Read on to learn about the steps to take for a safe return to your sport, activity, or life!
- If in doubt, SIT OUT!
If you sustain a direct or indirect hit to your head and you ‘just don’t feel right’, stop what you are doing and tell either your coach, family, or friends to ensure that you are not alone so they can monitor if your symptoms get drastically worse.
Remember: if you have a concussion and are presented with the ‘red flags’ that were presented in last week’s blog, ensure you go to the Emergency Room right away. These signs and symptoms might indicate severe injury.
- Schedule an appointment and undergo evaluation from your Doc!
After you’ve removed yourself from wherever you are – game, class, or work – schedule an appointment to see your Family Physician for an assessment to determine what measures need to be taken. Within the first 72 hours after a concussion, make sure you rest your body AND your brain! This means no further activity, work, school or screen time until you’ve been checked out! Get plenty of sleep and nap as necessary within this time frame.
- Book an appointment with a Physiotherapist for assessment and initiation of your individualized concussion management program!
Concussion management includes: education regarding a review of what a concussion injury is; appropriate resting and sleep strategies; recommendations for school or work modifications; physiotherapy for associated conditions like neck pain; visual and vestibular rehabilitation exercises; and gradual physical exertion testing to plan for return to activity/sport.
- Follow-up care!
As you move through the rehab process after your concussion, continuous collaboration between your Physiotherapist and Doctor will take place as progress is noted. It is important to realize that your Physiotherapist CANNOT clear any person for return-to-play status as this can only be granted by your Family Doctor.
Post-injury recovery can and will vary for all individuals so what one person is doing for their recovery may be different than what you are doing; that’s ok! Be sure to stick to the recommendations made by your Physiotherapist and Doctor.