By Cathy J Leer, PT, MBA
I love watching football! But even more, I love watching the Patriots win. Who doesn’t if you were born and bred in New England?
Can you believe the Pats are 5-0 so far this season? It’s amazing to watch the defensive line in action. Such power! But I have to admit that I cringe at some of the ferocious hits that are happening on both sides of the scrimmage line. Not a game has gone by when someone from either team ends up in the “medical tent” for concussion screening. Just this past Sunday, McCoy, the quarterback from the Redskins, was ordered in for screening from the higher ups when the Redskins medical and training staff failed to initiate it on their own.
Given what we now know about concussions, and the severe consequences from these repeated TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), I can’t blame the league for taking these steps. In fact, they should have taken them years ago. What does amaze me is that more coaches, parents, recreational leagues and even medical providers haven’t gotten more stringent or taken heed on behalf of the children who suffer concussions.
I was just reading an article by Ben Cohen, “New Concussion Guidelines For Physicians, Parents, Advise Less Rest, More Activity When Recuperating”, that noted ~40% of all concussion patients that were treated in the emergency room were children, and the majority of them were less than 5 years old! Can you imagine how many that amounts to? And those are the ones that seek treatment!
In all fairness, the article also states that “the majority of children and adolescents with an acute concussion will make a complete recovery within 1-4 weeks”, but what about those that don’t? And how does a parent or coach, or anyone else for that matter, know exactly who will fall into that category. Are these children any less important than the professional football players who are protected by their medical staff or the league? Shouldn’t they have their own “medical tent” and safety net so that they get the correct assessment and treatment? As noted in the above article, the studies now clearly demonstrate that “those with prolonged (concussion) symptoms (symptoms that last more than 4 weeks following the acute injury) can benefit from a referral to interdisciplinary teams and experienced healthcare professionals who are optimally trained to evaluate and treat the heterogeneous causes of these symptoms.”
As we can clearly see by what is happening in the NFL, concussions are no laughing matter and need to be treated with the seriousness that they deserve. That is why a group of over 40 Canadian and international pediatric concussion experts have worked diligently over the last 3 years to come up with the “Living Guideline for Diagnosing And Managing Pediatric Concussion”. Because of the ongoing research and changes that are being discovered, this organization is committed to incorporating new research findings monthly, so that the guidelines are NEVER out of date.
If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion, and continues to experience symptoms, OR if you have recently suffered a concussion and want to make sure that you are doing everything that you should to optimize your recovery, please do yourself a favor and make an appointment to see Lauren Fournier, PT, DPT, Vestibular Rehab Therapist. Think of her as your own “medical tent” and let her be your “experienced healthcare professional who is optimally trained to evaluate and treat” your concussion symptoms.
Call our office today at 603.644.8334 and schedule an appointment. No referral* is necessary and you have a right to choose who your provider is. Don’t settle for less. Choose an expert trained in treating concussions!
* Based upon your insurance