Concussion Management

Concussions are Traumatic Brain Injuries

We are committed to Brain Health and keeping parents and athletes informed about it. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention there are 1 to 3 million instances of concussions (mTBI) in the United States each year.  Forty seven percent of high school football players are diagnosed with a concussion each season, with 35% of those reporting multiple concussions in a single season. The American College of Sports Medicine estimates that some 85% of concussions go unreported.  These are big numbers that point to the importance of athletes playing in high impact sports to understand and take care of their brains. But how?  Start with an ESS Concussion Screening.

 

 

ESS Concussion Screenings

Our Sports Psychology clinicians are (CIC) certified as advanced ImPACT providers and conduct a comprehensive evaluation to assess pre-season brain baselines, concussion baselines or other areas such as pre-competition balance, brain function, memory, ability to focus and sustain attention, learning skills and speed of problem solving. At ESS we believe in the importance of a yearly screening to make sure that your athlete’s brain has not been concussed.  These screenings are done with a one hour comprehensive interview and taking the ImPACT test. We recommend that each person playing in a high contact sport, take a new baseline two times a year for ages 10-13 and at the beginning of the academic year for 14 to 18 year olds. At ESS we understand how important a healthy brain is to achieve your short term and long term goals.

Call us today for a baseline concussion screening.  Our ESS Sports Psychology staff has advanced training in concussions and over 50 years experience working with Middle School, High School, College and Pro sports.  Time is of the essence when screening for concussions and maintaining a healthy brain.

 

ESS Comprehensive Concussion Baselines

Brain health is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life that impacts them now and in the future. When athletes receive a concussion, they have brain trauma.  In order to manage a person with a concussion it is important to assess the severity of the concussion and then develop a plan for management, to heal the brain and return to normal activities.  Your brain is the most important physical organ you have. It needs training and recovery like other organs. As your muscles, joints, ligaments, and bones need progressive recovery after an injury, so does your brain.

A concussion is a minor head injury.  It is best to have all concussions checked out at your local hospital emergency room.  A minor head injury typically indicates a blow to the head with a brief period of loss of consciousness (LOC) or posttraumatic amnesia (loss of memory of the event) or disorientation.  The specific concussion criteria are (A) history of minor brain injury (mTBI) causing “significant cerebral concussion;” (B) cognitive deficit in attention and/or memory; (C) presence of at least 3 of 8 symptoms (eg: fatigue, sleep disturbance, headache, dizziness, irritability, affective disturbance, personality change, apathy) that appear after injury and persist for 3 months; (D) symptoms that begin or worsen after injury; (E) interference with social role functioning; and (F) the symptoms are distinguishable from any preexisting symptoms, and have a minimum duration of 3 months to up to a year.

Once an athlete has either a suspicion of a concussion or has actually received a concussion we conduct a Comprehensive Baseline of the concussed person. This includes an Impact computerized concussion assessment. If you or the concussed person has already taken a concussion screening with ESS, we compare the previous screening with the latest Impact test to find what part of the brain the current concussion has injured. These comparisons are important to conduct more specific cognitive assessments and to customize a recovery program for the concussed which includes both the athlete and their parents monitoring their post-concussion signs and symptoms with our in-depth, but simple to use ESS checklists.

This baseline includes the information from ImPACT tests, a comprehensive interview and several other Cognitive Functioning Assessments to include depression. The ESS Comprehensive Baseline provides detailed information on the areas of the brain that have been injured. A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that “teens with a history of concussions are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression as teens who have never had a concussion.” This emotional component is a big potential issue for adolescents who have been concussed. We also assess and discuss this as a part of the ESS Comprehensive Baseline.

Rather than conducting a battery of assessments, we target our cognitive baseline assessments toward the areas of injured brain.  This process gives us the data and information we need to make recommendations to parents as well as Middle and High School teachers and teams to provide “back to school” and “return to play protocols”.  These protocols are state mandated. Often we find ourselves being advocates for the concussed in educating parents and school staff with “Fact Sheets” that discuss components of short term brain recovery as it relates to the benefit of long term brain health.

A cognitive, learning and behavioral assessment is included and will be used to compare abilities if an athlete is injured. If you or someone you know has been concussed please contact us for a Comprehensive Baseline.  We look forward to meeting you and assisting you to get back to your school, team and sport.  By state law, the only individuals allowed to “sign off” that the individual is ready to “return to play” are individuals like our licensed and trained staff at ESS.

In addition, we also have the psychological staff to provide further assessment and treatment for any other learning challenges or academic issues when needed. We will be ready to assist you in your health and recovery of your brain. For individuals outside of the Denver metroplex, we are available to consult with parents, coaches, trainers, and teachers who are seeking help for their concussed players and students. At ESS we understand how important a healthy brain is to achieve your short term and long term goals.

Call us today for help with your concussion.  Our ESS Sports Psychology staff has advanced training in concussions and over 50 years experience working with High School, College and Pro sports.  Time is of the essence when treating concussions and maintaining a healthy brain.

 

ESS Post Concussion Management

If during our Comprehensive Concussion Baseline process it is apparent that there is a post-concussion syndrome, then we continue with the protocol established in the CCB phase. The PCS is defined as the development of at least 3 of the following symptoms: headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, impaired memory and concentration, insomnia, and lowered tolerance for noise and light.  A persistent post-concussive syndrome (PPCS) is generally defined as symptoms lasting more than 6 months, though some MDs and Psychologists define it as symptoms lasting more than 3 months. During this phase of concussion recovery, we design an individualized comprehensive follow-up plan to ensure that your brain is healing and you are able to continue doing well in your academic, family, social life and sport.  All of these areas are affected by concussions.

The ESS Concussion Management Providers will communicate with your medical, school and coaching staff to insure the most appropriate return to play and return to school timelines. In essence, we provide our concussion patients with case management as we coordinate services and securely maintain all the confidential information for our patient’s current and future use.  Furthermore, we provide consultations with the athlete and their parent(s).We have developed a team of providers to assist you in your recovery. These providers range from neurologists, sports medicine professionals, physical therapists, balance experts, vision specialists and certified athletic trainers, ophthalmologists and school psychologists.

In addition, we also have the psychological staff to provide further assessment and treatment for any other learning challenges or academic issues when needed. These include learning issues, ADHD, reading, language, hearing, concentration and focus. We have the referral sources in each area to assist us in helping you. We will be ready to assist you in your health and recovery of your brain. For individuals outside of the Denver metroplex, we are available to consult with parents, coaches, trainers, and teachers who are seeking help for their concussed players and students.

Call us today for help with your post-concussion management needs.  Our ESS Sports Psychology staff has advanced training in concussions and over 50 years experience working with High School, College and Pro sports.  Time is of the essence when treating concussions and maintaining a healthy brain.