Concussion Screening: A Physiotherapist’s Perspective

By: Alex des Tombe

Concussion screening is not just limited to evaluating athletes in the moment of a potential injury; it also involves baseline testing, which is crucial for post-concussion rehab and comparison. Baseline testing involves assessing an individual’s pre-injury cognitive and physical functions, such as memory, attention, balance, and reaction time, when they are healthy. This baseline data serves as a reference point for comparison in the event of a concussion, allowing healthcare providers to track changes and customize treatment plans for optimal recovery.

As a physiotherapist working with long-term concussion symptomatic patients, baseline testing plays a crucial role in assessing progress and guiding rehabilitation efforts. By having a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s pre-injury abilities, I can tailor treatment strategies to address specific deficits and monitor improvements over time. This personalized approach not only enhances the effectiveness of rehabilitation but also helps in setting realistic goals for recovery.

Baseline testing is not only essential for post-concussion rehab but also has other valuable applications. For athletes, having baseline data can facilitate return-to-play decisions by providing objective information about their physical and cognitive readiness to resume activity safely. It can also aid in identifying individuals who may be at higher risk for concussions or experiencing delayed recovery, allowing for early intervention and preventive measures.

Furthermore, baseline testing can serve as a valuable tool for research and data analysis in the field of concussion management. By collecting standardized data on a large scale, researchers can gain insights into patterns of injury, risk factors, and effective treatment approaches. This collective knowledge contributes to the advancement of concussion care and informs best practices for healthcare providers working in this specialized area.

In conclusion, baseline testing is an integral part of concussion screening that provides valuable information for post-concussion rehab, return-to-play decisions, risk assessment, and research purposes. As a physiotherapist working with long-term concussion symptomatic patients, I recognize the significance of baseline testing in guiding treatment plans and monitoring progress. By incorporating this proactive approach into concussion management protocols, we can improve outcomes for patients, enhance safety for athletes, and advance our understanding of this complex injury.