After months of anticipation the release of the consensus statement on concussion in sport from the 6th International Conference on Concussion in Sport came out in a 2023 edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. This document compiled the latest research and recommendations on sports-related concussion. Let’s explore the three key updates, but first of all let’s review what a concussion is:
Concussion Definition Summary
- Concussion in sports is a brain injury resulting from a direct blow to the head, neck, or body during sports or exercise.
- It triggers a cascade in the brain, leading to symptoms that may appear immediately or over time, typically resolving within days.
- Standard imaging studies may not show abnormalities, but functional imaging may reveal issues.
- Symptoms shouldn’t be solely attributed to other factors like drugs, alcohol, or existing conditions.
Update #1:Rest & Exercise
- Gradual aerobic exercise can start within 2-10 days post-concussion, advancing based on symptom response.
- Subsymptom threshold aerobic exercise is safe, progressing systematically based on symptom response.
Update #2: When to Refer
- Persistent symptoms beyond four weeks may be due to factors other than the concussion.
- Dizziness, neck pain, or headaches lasting over ten days may require cervicovestibular rehabilitation.
Update #3: Return to Activity Progressions
- The return to sports progression remains similar, with specific heart rate parameters added.
- This update includes parameters for return to learning.
- Advanced neuroimaging, biomarkers, genetic testing, and emerging technologies are primarily for research.
- Treating persistent symptoms requires a multidisciplinary approach.
- The prognosis for recovery after a sports-related concussion is positive.
In Concussion Prevention:
- Mouthguards can reduce ice hockey concussion rates by 28%.
- Disallowing body checking in youth ice hockey has led to a 58% decrease in concussion rates.
In conclusion, ongoing research enhances our understanding of sports-related concussions. Let’s stay informed to prioritize the safety of athletes. Read the full statement for more details, and we look forward to the next consensus statement in four years for further insights.
At North 49 we have worked with those after a concussion from the NFL, CFL, WHL, CIS, and weekend warrior.
If you have ongoing symptoms after a concussion or need direction of how to return to activity such as school, work, or sport after a concussion, we would recommend you book a Concussion Assessment with one of our team physiotherapists. They can work directly with you to determine the cause of your symptoms, how to best address them, and work with you to get back to the activities that you enjoy.