Concussion Management Program

The Physiotherapists at KOPC are all trained through extensive post graduate course work in the management of concussion and post concussion syndrome. We provide an advanced approach to concussion awareness and management, guiding injured athletes to a safe return to both sport participation and daily life activities.

Our program emphasizes a continuum of care from education and baseline testing to injury management and return-to-play. Our concussion management team includes: a Sports Medicine Physician trained in concussion management, Physiotherapists with advanced training in vestibular rehab and concussion management, access to our network of specially trained optometrists and neuropsychologists.

KOPC’s concussion services include:

Baseline Testing

There may be a role for baseline neurocognitive testing, as well as baseline testing of oculomotor,vestibular, and balance function.  Based on recommendations from the 2019 concussion consensus guidelines, KOPC may employ any of these modalities on a case by case basis, based on the particular needs of an athlete or team.  Please call or speak with your physiotherapist for further information about baseline testing.

contact us.

After Injury Care

What to do if you have sustained a Concussion

Following a suspected concussion, it is recommended that you consult a Medical Physician (Family GP or Sports Doctor) as early as possible for medical evaluation. Most sport-related concussion injuries do not necessarily require emergent care. It is also important that the athlete remain under close observation over the first few hours following their injury, and should not be left alone or allowed to drive. Below are some common signs of concussion to watch out for:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Loss of balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Trouble focusing on objects or words
  • Poor concentration
  • Feeling “foggy”
  • Confusion
  • Amnesia, or poor memory
  • “Flashing lights”
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Seeing “stars”
  • Irritability or emotional changes
  • Ringing in ears
  • Slow to follow direction
  • Decreased playing ability
  • Easily distracted
  • Vacant stare
  • Drowsiness/fatigue
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Feeling “off” or not like oneself

When to go to the hospital

Emergency evaluation is warranted in situations of deteriorating mental status such as increasing confusion and difficulty recognizing people or places. Other symptoms requiring immediate medical attention include worsening headache, worsening nausea or vomiting, and excessive drowsiness or lethargy.

When a concussion is suspected, we also recommend booking an initial assessment as early as possible with a qualified healthcare provider trained in assessing concussion. Even if you have not had a baseline assessment with KOPC, we will assess your injury and provide you with a management strategy to aid in your recovery.

Assessments and subsequent visits/therapy are covered under most extended healthcare benefit packages (eg. Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Osteopathy). For inquiries about appointments and fees, please contact us.

Concussion Assessment

Our Healthcare Providers will conduct a thorough post-injury evaluation in order to gain a complete picture of your injury and how it has impacted you. This includes a detailed interview in order to obtain information on:

  • How the injury occurred
  • How you felt immediately after the injury
  • How you are feeling currently
  • History of previous concussions
  • Current and past medical conditions
  • Previous trauma/injury
  • Medications

The physical examination provides us with insight into the severity of your injury, as well as specific impairments that may need to be addressed as part of an ongoing management strategy. This portion of testing may include a combination of the following:

  • Computerized neurocognitive testing if indicated
  • Balance testing
  • Strength and Coordination testing
  • Screening of visual motor skills
  • Vestibular (or equilibrium) testing
  • Gait assessment
  • Generalized neurological screen
  • Orthopedic assessment of secondary injuries (e.g. neck, shoulders)

The above testing procedures may not all be completed on the first visit. The assessment methods used are tailored to the immediate needs of the athlete and each Healthcare Provider uses his/her discretion on a case-by-case basis.

Management Strategies

Following a concussion, the “sitting in a dark room” approach is only effective for so long. Concussions, like other sports injuries, should be properly managed and rehabilitated. While complete physical and cognitive rest is the mainstay of concussion care in the initial stages, having a health professional guide you through this step-by-step may prove to be invaluable.

Rehab strategies may include any one or a combination of the following and are case-dependent:

  • Individualized resting strategies and home instruction
  • Specific recommendations around employment/academic demands
  • Manual therapy for associated complaints (e.g. neck pain, whiplash, etc.)
  • Visual motor rehabilitation
  • Vestibular therapy
  • Physical exertion testing and exercise plans for return-to-sport

Our Physiotherapists will work closely with your physician and other healthcare providers to ensure that your case is managed in the most effective way. We are able to expedite referrals for further medical testing if needed via our Sports Medicine Physician, or through our network of specialists.

Education and training

At KOPC, we believe that education and prevention are the key to reducing the negative effects of concussions. We offer FREE educational training and presentations to any interested teams, organizations, leagues, and healthcare providers. To book an education session please contact us.