What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of brain injury caused by a blow, bump, or ‘jolt’ to the head that temporarily changes the way your brain works – causing you to experience certain symptoms like headaches and dizziness. A concussion may also occur from a blow to the body that causes your head to jolt back-and-forth or side-to-side. A concussion may or may not involve a loss of consciousness. In fact, very few concussions actually result in loss of consciousness.
Concussions can produce a wide array of symptoms, which poses a challenge for coaches, trainers, parents, and health professionals involved in the care of an injured athlete. The time-course for recovery also varies widely from athlete to athlete, making it impossible to employ a “cookie-cutter” approach to concussion rehabilitation and return-to-participation timelines
What is a baseline test and why is it important?
Because concussions can be difficult to diagnose and test for, many health professionals recommend that athletes obtain a baseline test before the start of the sport season. A baseline test gives health professionals a point of reference or “snap shot” of your pre-season cognitive and physical function so that if you sustain a concussion, the after-injury results can be compared to your baseline test. Having a baseline test helps health professionals more accurately gauge the severity of your injury, objectively monitor your recovery, and determine when it is safe for you to return to play.