What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.

  • Important to note, that most concussions do NOT involve loss of consciousness.
  • Diagnosis is based on symptoms.
  • The majority of concussions (80-90%) heal in a short period of time (7-10 days).
  • No two concussions are alike. Healing time varies from person to person.

Concussion is considered to be among the most complex injuries in sports medicine to diagnose, assess and manage.

Second Impact Syndrome

Believed to occur when an athlete sustains a second blow to the head before recovery from the first concussion. Young athletes are at highest risk (all reported cases have occurred in athletes <20 years of age).

Post Concussion Syndrome

Everyone should be aware of the greater possibility of lasting post-concussive symptoms in athletes who continue playing before symptoms disappear.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Multiple concussions can cause changes in the brain that can begin long after the end of an athletic career.

Symptoms

Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another concussion.

Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories, Thinking/Remembering, Physical, Emotional/Mood and Sleep.

 

 

Thinking/Remembering

  • Difficulty thinking clearly.
  • Feeling slowed down.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulty remembering new information.

 Physical

  • Headache, Fuzzy or blurry vision.
  • Nausea or vomiting (early on), Dizziness.
  • Sensitivity to noise or light, Balance problems.
  • Feeling tired, having no energy.

Emotional/Mood

  • Irritability.
  • Sadness.
  • More emotional.
  • Nervousness or anxiety.

 Sleep

  • Sleeping more than usual.
  • Sleep less than usual.
  • Trouble falling asleep.

Assessments

Using a multi-modal system of sports specific concussion protocols players are managed throughout the season. 

1. Baseline Assessment

Carried out pre-season on all players to measure and record each individual’s normal neuro cognitive response and balance.

2. Injury Assessment

Pitch side test tool used as part of the team doctor's neurological assessment when the diagnosis of concussion is not immediately apparent.

3. Return to Play Assessment

Following each sports unique return to play protocols players are tested at key stages and are not permitted to return to full contact activity until the results return to baseline levels and the player is signed off as fit to play by a medical professional

4. Professional Rugby

Customised World Rugby HIA 1,2 and 3 tests are incorporated into the app, only accessible for teams who are signed up and allowed to use the World Rugby HIA tests.