There's a lot to love about sports. But sometimes, games are punctuated with episodes that could cause head injuries. High-speed tackles, sudden falls or collisions with fast-moving objects could all force the head to whip back and forth in rapid succession, and that could lead to concussion.
Those who don't play sports aren't immune to the risks of concussion either. Falls and car accidents can also push the body into a back-and-forth motion, and they both could result in brain trauma.
At Randolph Health, we take concussion treatment seriously. In fact, we offer a Concussion Management Program in collaboration with Jana L. Webb, MS, LAT, ATC, of Randolph Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine and Randolph Health DeepRiver Physical Therapy. Here, we work hard to prevent brain trauma in sports.
And at Randolph Health, we offer robust treatment plans to help smooth the road to concussion treatment, no matter the cause of the injury.
Our Concussion Management Program
The Concussion Management Program we offer involves:
- Testing before play. The ImPACT test, a computerized neurocognitive test that determines an athlete's baseline levels, is administered before the sport's season begins.
- Concussion testing after an injury. When an athlete is injured, another ImPACT test is completed within 72 hours. These results are compared to baseline levels.
- Doctor consultations. After the injury, the athlete heads to the doctor's office for a physical and concussion assessment.
The sports doctors on our team use the ImPACT test, their physical examinations and follow-up tests to determine the best format for concussion treatment.
Through a grant from the Carolina Panthers, all Randolph County middle school football players and high school athletes who play contact sports are tested.
Alternate Concussion Treatment Plans
While athletes in Randolph County may have been through a baseline concussion test, people in the community may not be so prepared. And some athletes may have missed a preseason concussion test and then been injured while in play. Our sports medicine experts can still help.
Our doctors can use symptoms checklists, neurocognitive assessments and balance assessments to determine the extent of the injury. And they can use neurocognitive tools, such as the SCAT2 form or ACE, to evaluate concussion recovery progress.
Monitoring the Concussion Recovery Process
An average concussion takes seven to 10 days to truly heal, but people with a history of concussion, migraines or ADD/ADHD might need even longer. During that concussion recovery time, it's vital for people to rest and avoid activities that could result in another brain injury.
Second-impact syndrome is a dangerous condition that can occur if you sustain a second concussive injury, even a relatively minor one, before the symptoms of the initial concussion have been cleared. The consequences of second-impact syndrome can be deadly.
Our doctors may also encourage you to avoid physical exertion—including exercise or work-related activities such as lifting or moving heavy objects or anything else that causes an increase in heart rate—while you are recovering from a concussion.
Our sports medicine experts can help you to understand the risks and what is safe for you to do as you heal. Our doctors can also help you pull together a concussion recovery plan that involves:
- Good nutrition
- Proper use of medications
What Happens After a Concussion?
As you heal, you'll continue to work with your doctor at Randolph Health. Follow-up testing can help your doctor to ensure that your brain injury is healing, and together, you can track your progress back to health.
Once your concussion symptoms are gone, you'll begin to resume your normal activity levels. But you'll need to pay attention to any activity, whether physical or mental, that causes your symptoms to return or rise. Those activities should be kept to a minimum.
If you're an athlete, you'll discuss when you can head back to the court or the field. To avoid any further injury, like second-impact syndrome, the student athlete must be cleared by his or her physician before he or she can return to play.
Answering Your Concussion Questions
There's a lot to understand about how concussions work and how they are treated. As part of our Concussion Management Program partnership, we offer a Concussion Hotline that can help.
Whether you're a student athlete, weekend warrior or an injured driver, use the Concussion Hotline for questions about your symptoms, your treatment plan and your healing time. Just call the Concussion Hotline at 336.953.4173.
And to find out more about the sports medicine doctors that can help you with your concussion treatment plan, visit our provider directory.