Sports Medicine Concussion Treatment

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Sports Medicine Concussion Treatment

Concussion Treatment For Athletes

Concussions can happen during almost any sport. If you are concerned that your student athlete has a concussion, they should be removed from play immediately and seen by a healthcare professional as soon as possible. The team at the Sports Medicine Center Children’s Mercy will perform a thorough evaluation and create a plan to help them recover and get back to playing the sport they love.

Scheduling an appointment with us

Schedule an appointment with our team by calling 816-701-HURT.

Your concussion treatment plan: the basic steps to concussion recovery for athletes

During the first appointment, your child will meet the care team and receive a thorough evaluation to confirm you have a concussion. This evaluation includes balance testing, vision testing, and computerized neurocognitive testing. We then start a formal return-to-play plan. Each step takes at least 24-48 hours per your physician. It’s a five- to six-step process that involves progressive activity centering on balance, cardiovascular, aerobic conditioning, and muscular strength coordination that are all sports-specific. Here are the basic steps to help guide recovery: 

  1. Rest until symptoms are gone (may be 2-3 weeks).
  2. Light aerobic exercise for 20 minutes (stationary cycling/brisk walking)
  3. Sport-specific exercise for 20 minutes (skating in hockey/running in soccer)
  4. Non-contact drills (shooting, dribbling, etc.); may start weight lifting
  5. Return to full-contact practice after medical clearance by a physician
  6. Return to full competition or game play

Certified Concussion Specialists

Your patient will be treated by a team of board-certified sports medicine physicians who are trained to care for pediatric patients. All of our physicians have specialized training focused on high school and junior high athletes. We also work alongside neurologists, neuropsychologists, rehab docs, and neurosurgeons if additional care is needed. 

Concussion Symptoms

The first step in your treatment plan should be immediate removal from play. Anyone with a concussion should never return to play the same day of injury. Concussions can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, or when an athlete simply trips or falls to the ground during a game. Early recognition is also important. Look for symptoms such as sensitivity to light, nausea, and dizziness. 

Concussion should be suspected in the presence of any one or more of the following: 

  • Headache
  • Feeling of pressure in head
  • Neck pain 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light

Symptoms frequently last up to three weeks in children and adolescents and can include:

  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling like “in a fog”
  • “Don’t feel right”
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble falling asleep

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