Current research suggests that there is approximately 1.6 to 3.8 million recreational and sport-related concussions each year in the U.S. and the number of people being treated for these injuries has increased greatly in recent years.
Immediate removal from practice or competition after sustaining a concussion (or if a concussion is suspected) is a MUST.
An estimated 40% of athletes are returning to play sooner than current guidelines would suggest. An athlete should not return to play until cleared by a licensed health care provider trained and experienced in the evaluation and management of concussions.
Most sport-related concussions (more than 90%) occur without loss of consciousness.
A concussion is an "invisible" injury. It cannot be seen. The only way to check for a concussion is by assessing the signs and symptoms and performing functional testing such as ImPACT testing, balance testing, occulomotor testing, etc.
Just because imaging of the head (MRI/CT) is negative, does not mean a concussions was not sustained.
Signs/symptoms of a concussion may not show up until several hours or days after the injury occurs.
Research suggests that 80-90% of concussions will resolve within 7-10 days; however some athletes who sustain a concussion may have symptoms that last for weeks, months, or even longer.
Most concussions happen in collision sports (i.e. football, wrestling, hockey), however, a concussion can be sustained in any sport and at any level of competition. Therefore, ALL those that are involved in athletics (i.e. players, coaches, parents, officials, etc.) need to have a general knowledge of concussions and be aware of their signs/symptoms.
Kids generally require longer recovery time after sustaining a concussion due to the fact that their brains are still developing.
After suffering a concussion, an athlete is 3-6 times more susceptible to suffer another concussion compared to an athlete who has not suffered a concussion.
If an athlete is not fully healed from the first concussion and suffers a second concussion, recovery can be prolonged or the likelihood of having long-lasting effects can occur. In very rare cases, brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and even death can occur.
Neurocognitive testing, such as ImPACT testing, is not meant to be tool to diagnose concussions. It also should not be used as a substitute a thorough medical evaluation/treatment. It is only one of the tools used to assess for a concussion. An athlete who is suspected of having a concussion should always be evaluated by a licensed healthcare provider before being cleared to return to activity.