British Journal of Sports Medicine published the “Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport — the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport Held in Berlin, October 2016. The new research on how young athletes should be treated for concussions on and off the field is welcome news for both parents and coaches.
Mimicking the three “Rs” of elementary education — reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic — the authors of the statement came up with 11 of their own when it comes to managing concussion: recognize, remove, re-evaluate, rest, rehabilitation, refer, recover, return to sport, reconsider, residual effects and risk reduction. Rest is part of recovery but it should be relative not total rest. Approximately 24-48 hours postinjury, “patients can be encouraged to become gradually and progressively more active while staying below their cognitive and physical-symptom-exacerbation thresholds.” Rehabilitation may be necessary to address prolonged psychological, neck-related, and/or balance problems. Referral to a concussion specialist is advised when symptoms persist beyond 10-14 days in adults and four weeks in children.