Concussions: accelerate your recovery

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With the national incidence of sports-related concussions among young athletes significant and rising, coaches, parents and student-athletes must become more aware of the risk and seriousness of concussions.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400,000 concussions occur each year in youth athletics. If not treated appropriately, concussions can lead to long-term problems for athletes.

In the past several years, many states have followed the recommendation of the American Medical Association and now require that student-athletes be removed from play if suspected of having a concussion and that they obtain written medical clearance from a licensed physician before returning to play. As of August 2012, 40 states (including Illinois) and the District of Columbia have passed laws protecting student-athletes from returning to play too soon after suffering the effects of a concussion.

Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers — a premier provider of Sports Medicine services in the Midwest — is at the forefront of concussion diagnosis and management. The Accelerated Concussion Management Program includes Vestibular Rehabilitation, which focuses on dizziness, balance, and stability, as well as an Exertional Exercise Return-to-Play protocol that provides incremental exposure to cardiovascular and cognitive challenges.

Accelerated also offers ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). This user-friendly, computer-based program checks verbal and visual memory, attention span, brain-processing speed, reaction time, and problem solving. Once the student-athletes have become symptom-free and successfully completed Accelerated’s Concussion Management Program, they will be evaluated by a physician for clearance to safely return to play.

The overall goal of these laws and programs is to raise awareness of and better understand concussions in order to make the games safer and to help student-athletes stay healthy.

Contact Tim Rylander PT at (708) 783-1044 for more information on concussion management and rehabilitation.