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Concussion Baseline Testing

Concussion Baseline Testing

Concussion is a mild type of brain injury that occurs when the brain gets shaken up inside the skull. There is no structural damage done to the brain, rather the shaking of the brain disrupts the nerves and the way the nerves conduct signals. This disruption is only temporary, but as the disruption to the brain is corrected, the brain just can’t function properly. This is why people describe headaches, blurry vision, brain fog, balance issues and ‘not feeling right’.

As the brain does so many things, there is no one test that can measure concussion. It needs to be examined from many angles; this is known as a multimodal assessment.

Concussion assessment includes:

  1. Symptom Evaluation
  2. Memory Function – immediate memory, concentration and delayed recall
  3. Cervical Spine assessment
  4. Balance Assessment
  5. Vestibular/Ocular-Motor Screening – we use Neuroflex goggles.
  6. Exercise stress test; achieve > 85% max HR with no symptoms

As a GP appointment allows 15 minute consultations, it is very difficult for them to perform a thorough concussion assessment.

 

The best care for concussion is through a collaboration of Physiotherapy and the GP.

 

The Concussion Physiotherapist performs the assessments (and rehab if needed) and the patient completes an exercise diary as they return to non-contact and limited contact training. The GP analyses the results and can then provide a medical clearance for ‘return to play’.

Therefore, it stands to reason, that if an individual plays Rugby, AFL, Soccer or has had a previous concussion in their sport, it is best practice to have Concussion Baseline Testing. This ensures there is an accurate reference point for that individual’s brain function.

If an injury occurs in the future, and you haven’t had baseline testing, you can still get a concussion assessment. Your markers in testing will be compared to the average of the population. But if there is baseline data to compare to, better decisions are made and recovery is targeted and individualised.

Concussion Baseline testing takes 15 minutes and a health insurance rebate can be claimed.  Winter sport has just started, now is the time to measure your baseline.

Click on the links below to book online for a physiotherapy assessment and treatment or give us a call on 0438 648 884.

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