Sport Related Concussion (SRC) injuries are among the most difficult injuries to diagnose and treat. As a hot topic in sport and research, the evidence for diagnosis and treatment is always changing – our clinician (Matt) stays up to date with the evidence and has decided to provide some key insights regarding concussion injuries.

First here are a few important things that lay-people might not know about concussion injuries:

  • Symptoms should not last longer than 28 days, if they do, it is considered “Post-Concussion Syndrome” (PCS).
  • Symptoms can be categorized as “physiological”, “neurological”, “oculomotor”, “vestibular”, among others.
  • We no longer advise patients with concussion to rest in a dark room right away, in fact, we start exercising them as soon as possible within their physiological limitations.
  • Most treatment is focused on rehabilitation for the oculomotor (eyes) and vestibular (ears) systems.

Recently, the guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of concussion were updated at the 2023 Amsterdam conference on Concussion in Sport and we thought it might be interesting to share some of the updates!

Here’s what is new:

  • Advanced imaging is useful for RESEARCH but NOT YET FOR CLINICAL SETTINGS.
  • Strong evidence exists regarding the benefit of physical activity and aerobic exercise as early interventions.
  • Cervicovestibular (neck) rehab is indicated for athletes with neck pain, dizziness, or balance problems.
  • The consensus supported disallowing body-checking in early age groups of hockey, use of mouth guards, neuromuscular training as warm-up prior to contact sports, and limiting contact in practices.

Above are just a few updates provided in the 17-page consensus statement. As you can see, it’s important to have an assessment provided by a trained therapist who has special education in diagnosis and management of concussion. As a chiropractor I have specific training in neurological screening, exercise rehabilitation, and I have taken additional training through the Complete Concussion Management Institute which is on the leading edge of concussion training.

Author: Dr. Matthew McGuckin DC, MSc, BPHE