With schools starting back up and athletics getting in gear, keeping our youth athletes safe while having fun is the primary goal. Fundamental safety measures include a thorough health screening and evaluation by a licensed medical expert. Primary prevention involves finding and addressing potential health issues before injury or illness occurs. Optimizing the health and wellness of our athletes can prevent unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalization.
Even with optimal health, injury does still happen unfortunately. Muscle sprains, ligament strains, fractures, and concussions are exceedingly common in many contact sports. Soccer and football consist of the majority of contact sport injuries from late summer through the fall. Care by specialists focusing on the medical needs of the student athlete target quick recovery with a safe return to play. “Student” being the formative principle, where rapid recovery is vital to once again excel in academics.
Recent medical evidence regarding sport-related concussions has shown that immediate removal from play potentiates quicker recovery with less severe symptoms. Individuals may experience the effects of a concussion differently, therefore it’s critical to receive a medical evaluation for assessment of appropriate treatment. The saying “rest is best” is supported my multiple animal and human studies, but newer research is suggesting “exercise is medicine.” After 24-72 hours of rest, systematic evaluation of exercise tolerance can be performed on either bike or treadmill testing. This should only be performed with proper supervision, typically by an athletic trainer or physiotherapist, in the event that symptoms develop or worsen.
At the Center for Health and Sports medicine, our board certified physicians in primary care and sports medicine are adept at diagnosing and treating concussions, along with other sports-related injuries. Developing a targeted treatment plan with close monitoring allows our patient athletes to receive the care needed to return to the classroom and safely return to the playing field.
Asken BM et al. Immediate removal from activity after sport-related concussion is associated with shorter clinical recovery and less severe symptoms in collegiate student-athletes. Am J Sports Med, 2018;46(6):1465-1474.
Murata NM et al. Maximizing recovery from concussions for youth participating in sports and recreational activities. Am J Phys Med & Rehab, Aug 2018 (Epub ahead of print).
Giza CC, Choe MC, and Barlow KM. Determining if rest is best after concussion. JAMA Neurology Apr, 2018;75(4):399-400.
Leddy JJ et al. Exercise is medicine for concussion. Curr Sports Med Reports, 2018;17(8):262-270.