Return to play after a concussion

Having a concussion is a serious and life threatening injury. Knowing how to handle the problem and when to return can be difficult. If you feel that you or someone you know has suffered a possible concussion, you should seek immediate medical help. A thorough examination by a qualified medical practitioner is needed. After you have been given clearance, now what? Here is a simple guide to help in the process.

Once the person is symptom free, they may return to activity as follows:

Step 1: Begin light aerobic activity. A light jog or brisk walk. 5-10 minutes

Step 2: Increase the activity to a more moderate pace. Avoid excessive head motion

Step 3:Return to full speed activity. Drills and conditioning, but no contact

Step 4: Return to full contact/full speed

Step 5: Return to competition

With each of these steps, the individual should remain symptom free. If any concussion or concussion like symptoms return, repeat the previous step. Symptoms might include dizziness, nausea, disruption of sleep or sleep patterns, headache or blurred vision.

There should be one day between each step. Do not skip a step or do more than one step each day. It may take several days or several weeks to complete this process. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your primary care physician.

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