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Providing comprehensive, evidence-based concussion care, helping patients and athletes get back to what they love

Sports-related Concussion

There is growing concern in Australia and globally about sport-related concussion and the potential health ramifications for individuals who have suffered a concussion. If managed appropriately, most signs and symptoms of concussion, resolve spontaneously. However, complications can occur, including prolonged symptoms and increased susceptibility to further injury.

Prevelance

  • 10-15%

    of athletes from high-risk sports are estimated to experience a concussion each year.

    of athletes from high-risk sports are estimated to experience a concussion each year.

  • 50%

    of high-risk sport athletes have reported suffering a concussion at some point in their sporting life.

    of high-risk sport athletes have reported suffering a concussion at some point in their sporting life.

  • over 50%

    of concussions are never reported to coaches, trainers or club medical staff.

    of concussions are never reported to coaches, trainers or club medical staff.

  • 15-30%

    of reported concussions report persistent symptoms beyond 14 days with normal activities.

    of reported concussions report persistent symptoms beyond 14 days with normal activities.

  • Australian Sports with the highest concussion rates

    Rugby (Union/League)
  • Australian Sports with the highest concussion rates

    Australian Rules Football
  • Australian Sports with the highest concussion rates

    Soccer
  • Australian Sports with the highest concussion rates

    Cricket
  • Australian Sports with the highest concussion rates

    Basketball/Netball
  • 1.Rugby (Union/League)

    Reports the highest incidence of sports-related concussion in the world, right alongside American Football & Ice Hockey.

  • 2.Australian Rules Football

    Elite AFL & AFLW also record some of the highest rates of concussion, however, at the sub-elite or amateur level the numbers are lower, this has been attributed to reduced speed and intensity of the game.

  • 3.Soccer

    Less than 10% of concussions in high school soccer are caused by ball contact with the head (e.g headers). The most common cause of concussion in soccer? Colliding with another player. Females recorded higher concussion rates than males.

  • 4.Cricket

    Due to the speed of fast bowlers and the hardness of cricket balls, cricket is still very much a high impact sport. Batters are the most susceptible to ball-impact related concussions.

  • 5.Basketball/Netball

    Concussion rates are increasing in non-collision high-intensity court sports such as netball/basketball. Played in more confined spaces and on harder surfaces, accidental collision does occur and is the leading cause of concussion in basketball/netball (e.g. elbow contact to the head under the ring).

Suffered A Concussion

Our specially-trained concussion Sports Doctors and Sports Physiotherapists work together to provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, co-management approach to sports-related concussions.

  • Accurate Diagnosis

    Our doctors and physiotherapists conduct thorough examinations to ensure sports-related concussions are accurately identified and appropriately managed.

  • Computerised & Multimodal Testing

    Our physiotherapists perform a series of physical and cognitive tests as well as computerised neurocognitive assessment to provide objective insight into brain function.

  • Neurocognitive Care

    Rest is no longer considered the best approach to concussion care. Early intervention of various therapies can significantly improve recovery following a concussion. Through a thorough assessment and the right treatment approach, SportsMed Subiaco can help patients safely return to learn, work and play.

  • Treadmill Test & Exercise Prescription

    Conducted by our physios, Concussion Treadmill testing, assesses the brain’s response to increased blood flow during activity. Treadmill testing is the best test available for determining exercise prescription and progressions in concussion patients.

  • Visual & Vestibular Restoration

    Dizziness and visual disturbances are common following concussion. A rehab program incorporating balance and visual rehabilitation program may help to reduce symptoms such as dizziness, visual abnormalities, concentration issues and memory problems, among other symptoms.

  • Neck Therapy

    Headaches, dizziness, balance and blood flow abnormalities are symptoms of both concussion and neck injuries (or whiplash). Often, ongoing symptoms can be generated by the neck which can be treated with manual therapy by our CCMIcertified APA Sports & Exercise Physiotherapists.

  • Education & Reassurance

    We are here to help, every step of the way and will provide up-to-date advice, guidelines and a step by step return to activity, taking the guess work out of return to play and getting you back to what you love.

  • Specialist Referral & Management

    We work closely with a network of specialist practitioners with special interests in sports-related concussion assessment & management to make sure you are getting the right advice and support throughout your rehabilitation & management.

Persistent Symptoms

While most people make a full recovery, about 15 to 30% of people will go on to have persistent symptoms such as headaches or dizziness.

Following proper return to work, learn or play guidelines, and receiving information about concussions, expectations of recovery and strategies for symptom management can help to reduce the risk.

In some cases, the effects of concussion can last for weeks or even months. If you experience symptoms with basic tasks or activities of daily living for more than 4 weeks, this is known as persistent symptoms (or sometimes called Post-Concussion Syndrome).

Rest is no longer considered the best approach to concussion care. Early intervention of various therapies can significantly improve recovery following a concussion

At SportsMed Subiaco we want to intervene early with persistent symptoms and this aligns with emerging evidence, so we don’t wait until 4 weeks to try an influence your symptoms with activities, we undertake a comprehensive assessment and testing process to optimise your recovery and successful return to symptom-free activity.

Treatment may involve addressing specific symptoms such a mood issues, anxiety, difficulty concentration or headaches. If you are experiencing ongoing problems post-concussion, please book a concussion appointment with our trained Sports Doctors (click) who will begin the process of comprehensive persistent symptoms management.

Baseline Testing

Concussion baseline testing provides important insight into individual, healthy brain function before a concussion injury.

These tests provide individual benchmarks to compare with, should a concussion occur. Not all players/people of the same age or same level of sport, perform uniformly when undertaking concussion testing, there is moderately-large individual variability.

While normative values exist, individual comprehensive baseline concussion testing at the start of season which incorporates a variety of tests can provides objective insight and improved accuracy and reliability.

Not all baseline testing is the same, as a certified Complete Concussion Management Inc. (CCMI) clinic, SportsMed Subiaco offers multimodal comprehensive baseline testing with our APA Sports & Exercise Physiotherapists which involves a series of physical and cognitive tests (e.g. cutting-edge computerized software, memory recall, reaction time, hand-eye coordination, visual tracking capacity, cervical spine and balance screening) that measure baseline (preconcussion) neurocognitive function.

Because concussion symptoms can be diverse and often resolve days to weeks before the brain has fully recovered, having individual baseline data available to refer back to, offers concussion practitioners crucial insight into the individual’s level of brain recovery, improving clinical decision making and safer return to sport.

Book your preseason baseline concussion testing with one of our APA Sports & Exercise Physiotherapists today.

Resources

We want our patients to have the latest, evidence-based and medically-endorsed information about sports-related concussion. The below resources are internationally and/or nationally recognised resources, endorsed by Concussion experts as well as the Australian Medical Association, Australasian College of Sports & Exercise Physicians and the Australian Institute of Sport.

  • Concussion Management

    This concussion management flow chart provides references to on-field signs of concussion and red flags.

    Download PDF Brochure
  • Concussion Symptoms

    A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that may cause a range of physical and cognitive symptoms.

    Download PDF Brochure
  • Practicing Good Sleeping Habits

    Practicing good sleeping habits is an important part of concussion management.

    Download PDF Brochure
  • Return to sport protocol – Adults

    Return to sport protocol for adults over 18 years of age.

    Download PDF Brochure
  • Return to sport protocol – Children

    Return to sport protocol for children 18 years of age and under.

    Download PDF Brochure
  • Concussion Handbook

    Concussion is a complex physiological process affecting the brain due to a direct or indirect blow to the head, face, neck or body causing an impulsive force transmitted to the head.

    Download PDF Brochure

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SportsMed Subiaco

SportsMed Subiaco