Concussions are serious injuries. A concussion is the result of a complex physiological process induced by the trauma of the biomechanical forces. Concussions are no longer categorized as “dings”, “bell ringers”, or as mild or severe. The severity of a concussion is now determined after the athlete has fully recovered, is no longer symptomatic, and has returned to full and unrestricted activity.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.
Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions and don't realize it.
Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. This injury needs time and rest to heal properly. Most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild, and people usually recover fully.
Tulsa Soccer Club Policy:
Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional trained in head injury management.
Further, the Tulsa Soccer Club suggested management of concussions:
Any athlete suspected of having a concussion should be evaluated by an appropriate healthcare professional trained in head injury management.
Any athlete with a concussion should be medically cleared by an appropriate healthcare professional trained in head injury management prior to resuming participation in any practice or competition.
After medical clearance, return to play should follow a step-wise protocol with provisions for delayed return to play based upon return of any signs or symptoms.
WHEN IN DOUBT, HOLD THEM OUT.
ALL athletes that are held out of a practice or competition because they are suspected to have sustained a concussion should be referred to a health care professional trained in head injury management or the designated Certified Athletic Trainer (such as Advanced Orthopedics of Oklahoma if they are present.)
Below are guidelines that will be followed when an athlete has been diagnosed with a concussion.
If necessary the athlete may need to stay away from club training. Activities requiring concentration and attention may worsen symptoms and delay recovery. Additionally, the athlete should refrain from use of computers, texting, extended periods of TV viewing, or reading. This period of cognitive rest will be variable and based upon the individuals improvement in symptoms.
Testing – ImPACT Concussion testing is available at Advanced Ortho to assist with the decision of return to play.
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a research-based software tool utilized to evaluate recovery after concussion.
Athletic Trainer - Management
The Athletic trainer, when on site will assess the injury, or provide guidance to the coach when they are not available for immediate evaluation. At the time of injury the athletic trainer will determine if immediate care is necessary whether it is to our team physician, emergency room or athlete’s family physician.