We are now accredited with the Complete Concussion Management Network!
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Did you know?
Ten to fifteen per cent of athletes get a concussion injury each year. Making the appropriate diagnosis after a concussion and knowing when the athlete has fully recovered is paramount to rehabilitation programming.
A concussion is due to an acceleration-deceleration injury to the head, either directly or with a hit to the body that is forceful enough to accelerate the head to the critical concussion level. The common thought of a concussion is the brain smashing up against the skull inside, causing bruising. While this may happen to some extent, concussion injuries actually result from a stretching of the brain cells.
During a strong acceleration, the brain cells are stretched, tricking it into thinking it has received a signal. The nerve fires and passes that signal on to the next nerve and the cycle continues. With a concussion, millions of nerves fire simultaneously, causing an overload of signals. The result could be unconsciousness, impairments to balance and cncentration, confusion, and siezures (as is the case with 90% of concussions).
This excess firing is typically short-lived and a person may feel better after only 15 minutes. However, this is only the first phase of the injury. There is actually a second phase which is the most dangerous.
In phase one, the increased firing burns undue amounts of energy within our brains. In phase two, absolute rest is prescribed after this injury as restoring energy is required for cell recovery. Any energy used (physically or mentally) exacerbate this growing energy crisis.
The brain is also extremely vulnerable to additional impacts in the second phase. Should the athlete get hit again, even slightly, it can aggravate the injuries, potentially resulting in permanent or even fatal brain injury. In recovery, you are actually more susceptible to a second injury because your processing speed and reaction times are slower and balance is off compromising your ability to avoid a collision.
Knowing when someone is safe to return to sport is determined by getting a pre-season comprehensive baseline testing of an athlete’s body and brain functioning. Dr. Radley-Walters and Active Chiropractic are accredited with the Complete Concussion Management Network of clinics across Canada providing baseline and post-concussion testing and Return to Play/Learn protocols.