Author: Dr. Matt Zirretta
Over the last ten years “concussion” has become quiet a buzz-word, and rightly so. Concussions have been a hot topic in the media with former NFL players speaking out on the long-term negative effects and release of the Will Smith film Concussion. Terms such as “getting your bell rung” and “protect your melon” can no longer be taken lightly. Our goal at Engineered Per4mance is to improve sport performance, but more so prevent injury and ensure safety of play for our athletes. This is why we have developed an objective removal from play and return to sport concussion protocol. This will allow parents, coaches, and medical staff to make safe decisions in the best interest of the child.
The symptoms associated with concussions are well known, but currently removal from play and return to sport decisions are subjective in nature, endangering the athlete. A staggering 85% of concussions go undiagnosed. Research has shown that concussed athletes are more likely to experience another brain injury. If this second injury occurs before the first concussion heals, the athlete can experience prolonged recovery and worse long-term outcomes.
Subjective symptoms of a concussion:
We at Engineered Per4mance have developed a comprehensive concussion protocol, which includes baseline pre-season testing measurements of objective data that can be paired with subjective symptoms to make smart removal from play and return to sport decisions. In the unfortunate event that the athlete suffers a concussion, we can retest and compare results to their baseline scores to make an objective, safe return to sport decision.
Visual pathways give a widespread overview of what is happening within the brain during a concussion. Using a specialized program we capture the athlete’s reading acuity (speed and number of errors). An athlete with concussion-like symptoms will demonstrate slower reading speeds and more errors.
Balance deficits are a key symptom of concussions of any severity. Using specialized software we capture a video of the athlete’s balance in different postures (feet together, tandem, single leg stance) with eyes open and closed, which is measured on a sway map. An athlete with concussion-like symptoms will demonstrate larger deviations of sway, which will be illustrated on the sway map.
Baseline concussion tests should be preformed every six months to remain accurate as the young athlete grows.
Contact us today to protect your athlete’s melon!