Concussion Baseline Testing – Protecting your head!

What is it and why do we do it? 

Concussions are arguably the biggest talking point in sports injuries over the last decade, study and conversation are only growing as well. Through this extensive study the group Complete Concussion Management Inc. (CCMI) have developed an elaborate concussion protocol for testing and rehabilitation. The team members of Sports and Spinal Albury Wodonga have undergone months of study to learn and implement this protocol. 

Concussions are a brain injury. Brain injuries can be serious. Far too many athletes care more about a torn hamstring than their brain, we’re trying to change that!

In order to best assess a potential concussion we can compare their test results to their ‘normal’, and we find a person’s normal by running baseline testing. Although we can run screening without a baseline, it is more accurate if we have an individualised comparison. 

What is involved?

The testing can be done in the clinic just like a normal consultation and should take around 30 minutes to complete. 

  • We start with a comprehensive case history of previous head and neck injuries, understanding your headaches (if any) to compare them with potential future concussions. 
  • We test your cranial nerves and your eyes, watching their ability to track objects, responses to light and visual acuity. 
  • We then test your reaction time, one of the more fun tests to perform, to see if your scores are better than your practitioner or your mates, bragging rights before the season!
  • Thinking speed and memory recall – another great one to test yourself. This is an important test because if you are well above or below an average score it can be difficult to judge your performance on a concussion test if we don’t have your normal score to compare to. 
  • Balance – not everyone has fantastic balance, so this can be a way we can help you train for your sport, not just in assessing concussion!

Can anyone do it? 

Yes! Absolutely anyone can do this, you don’t have to be a sports person or an athlete, because concussions can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. 

Does it matter if I’ve had a concussion before?

If anything, you could argue it’s more important for you to test. If your previous concussions didn’t recover properly we can still help! Or if you have permanent changes (often seen in visual tests) we will know that’s your current ‘normal’ and can compare that to data later on should it be required. 

Can I get my whole team/group of people to do it?

Absolutely, we can work together as a clinic and a team to try and organise a group testing procedure, it runs like a factory line so that multiple people are getting tested at once so that we can get everyone through it as quickly as possible! Just be aware it usually takes takes a couple of weeks to organise a large scale test. These can be booked by calling the clinic 02 60211975 or emailing admin@sportsandspinal.net.au

Can you cheat the test? 

No. I mean you can try, but there are specific tests and score ranges that can identify if someone isn’t giving their all. So if the scores don’t line up, you’ll have to come back and repeat the test all over again

But at the end of the day, why would you want to cheat? This is designed to help you recover and protect your brain from long lasting damage should a concussion occur. It is super important you do the tests correctly, muscles will tear over and over again if you don’t rehab properly and your brain is no different!

You can also read our last post on ‘Concussion Facts & Misconceptions’

 

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