If you or someone you love plays football, it is important to understand the basics of concussion prevention and treatment.
As with any contact sport, a direct hit sustained in the game increases the likelihood of player concussions. Physicians at Rothman Institute have worked diligently in recent years to understand the consequences and causes of concussions in an effort of prevention for even the youngest players. We encourage parents and athletes to take an active role in understanding concussion safety measures on and off the field.
Rothman Institute offers a comprehensive management program for football concussions in Philadelphia. Our physicians provide the most advanced multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment techniques. We are leaders in sports medicine concussion prevention providing community education, treatment and recovery resources, and baseline screenings.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is the rapid shaking or rotating movements of the brain caused by either a direct blow to the head or to another part of the body.
Football concussions are hardly uniform, and it is possible to experience a concussion unknowingly. This can be dangerous considering the fact that once an individual has experienced a concussion, that person is increasingly vulnerable to sustaining subsequent concussions. Individuals have reported a variety of symptoms, but often struggle to identify all their symptoms. One of the unusual characteristics of concussions is the delayed symptoms which may not appear until a few days later. Some cognitive and physical symptoms include:
An initial loss of consciousness immediately after the blow
Loss of memory
Disoriented speech or communication
Difficulty with balance
Feeling emotionally low or saddened
Any form of nausea
An altered sleep pattern
Specialized Concussion Treatments Provided By Rothman Institute
Before a concussion occurs, athletes should receive a computerized test measuring brain functions called a baseline evaluation, so that post-injury tests may have an equitable comparison to measure the concussion severity. Concussions are treated symptomatically. Our treatment program at Rothman Institute will begin with a complete medical history assessment and physical evaluation.
Once a football concussion occurs, damage can only be prevented through proactive awareness and treatment follow-through. Coaches, as well as family members, have a responsibility to partner with the player to help them heal so that they can safely return to play. Three different tests will reveal the severity of the concussion:
Imaging tests: Both a computed tomography (CT) and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may be completed post-injury during the initial evaluation to reveal any bleeding within the brain if severe symptoms are evident.
Neuropsychological assessment: Cognitive testing on a computer or an in-person assessment from a neuropsychologist will provide crucial information regarding any compromised mental functions, including memory, speech, and problem-solving.
5 Step Return-To-Play Protocols: This test starts with light jogging or bike riding and progresses to full contact assessment. The purpose of the test is to understand whether an athlete can resume activities. A doctor is required to evaluate and clear an athlete before the return to play after any concussion treatment is complete, according to the 2010 mandate from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Rothman Institute recommends complete physical and mental rest for a minimum of two to three days, and waiting 48-72 hours for your first concussion appointment to ensure all concussion symptoms are evident. This necessary treatment must be enforced by football players, coaches, and loved ones. A new baseline test should be conducted under the supervision of a doctor six months following a concussion.
Rothman Institute understands that football concussions in Philadelphia players can be severe and occur frequently, so it important to know what resources are available from our concussion specialists so that you can receive the treatment you need right away.
For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.
- Our Field Athletic Trainers provide direct sports medicine care to youth, high school, college and professional athletes. Rothman AT's provide athletic training services throughout Southeastern PA and NJ to interscholastic high schools, colleges, as well as tournaments and special events.Read More