Since the concussion to Sidney Crosby a few years ago along with both Eric Lindros and his brother Brett who suffered from post-concussion syndrome, awareness, assessment and treatment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury has had a renewed focus.
Furthermore other famous defenceman like Scott Stevens and Chris Pronger had to retire from their passion of hockey due to ongoing post-concussion symptoms.
The numbers are increasing in soccer along with the awareness of untreated MTBI leading to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) that was promoted in the movie Concussion.
Baseline concussion testing for both individuals and teams are becoming mandatory at a youth level for many sports that involve contact.
So why would you or your team want to go through baseline concussion testing? What are the benefits and what is included?
The most common form of baseline concussion testing is doing the ImPACT® neurocognitive test. This test is performed on a computer with a mouse. It assesses verbal memory, visual memory, reaction time and speed.
This test in conjunction with SCAT3 including the BESS test gives a more complete baseline.
BESS test stands for Balance Error Scoring System and tests single and double leg balance.
Benefits of Baseline Concussion Testing
- Baseline IMPACT Testing (neurocognitive – mental testing) gives objective testing as many times symptom recovery occurs before neurocognitive (mental) recovery.
- BESS testing may indicate if single leg balance and strength exercises are necessary to incorporate into an off season strength and conditioning.
- ImPACT testing will indicate if reaction time drills are necessary.
- Baseline testing will indicate if strength and range of motion of the neck need to be addressed in an off season strength and conditioning.
- May indicate a previous undetected concussion.
As an individual, coach or club executive you need to ask yourself is there value in pre-season baseline concussion testing for you, your team and organization.
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