4 Tips to Protect from Concussion
Physiotherapists are the rehabilitation specialists recommended most by physicians. They are university-educated health professionals who work with patients of all ages to diagnose and treat virtually any mobility issue. Physiotherapists provide care for orthopaedic issues such as sport and workplace injuries, as well as cardiorespiratory and neurological conditions. As Canada's most physically active health professionals, BC's physiotherapists know how to keep British Columbians moving for life.
- Monitor the health of the athlete. Assess and retest the young athlete's baseline brain function (memory skills, concentration) to help identify the effects of any injury. If the young athlete has had a prior concussion, have a physiotherapist set up a program for a safe and prepared return to play.
- Positioning and protecting the head. To prevent giving or receiving a concussion, young hockey and soccer players must learn to avoid dangerous angles of contact; always approach the boards on an angle, never check from behind,"head the ball" correctly, and avoid bumping heads and straining necks.
- Ensure a gradual return to play. After a concussion, it's imperative not to return to play too soon; brain needs time to heal. A physiotherapist will establish an individualized rehabilitation program to prevent re-injury, guide the young athlete through the recovery process, and determine when to return to play.
- Train specifically for the sport. Hockey specific office training exercises will improve control of the neck, spine and pelvis, and will help with skating, puck skills and safe body contact to avoid concussion. Soccer players should include a neck-strengthening program as part of their conditioning, and practice "head the ball" with proper technique.