The return to play progression is a 6 step process. At least 24 hours must pass before moving on to the next step. If symptoms return the athlete must go back a step. The steps are as follows:
1. No activity- Directly after being diagnosed with a concussion, the athlete should have total physical and mental rest. Once the student-athlete is asymptomatic at rest and concussion test scores are 95% or better than the baseline scores the athlete will progress to the next step.
2. Light aerobic exercise- Walking, swimming, or biking while keeping heart rate below 70% of max.
3. Sport-specific exercise- Basic low impact drills associated with the athletes sport. (No head impact activities)
4. Non-contact training drills- Progress to more complex drills.
5. Full contact Practice- After receiving medical clearance, athlete may resume normal training activities.
6. Return to Play
Some Signs and Symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating - Nausea/vomiting - Inappropriate playing behavior - Dizziness - Decreased playing ability - Confusion - Inability to perform daily activities - Fatigue - Reduced attention - Light headedness - Cognitive and memory dysfunction - Headaches - Sleep disturbances - Irritability - Vacant stare - Disorientation - Loss of bowel and/or bladder control - Seeing bright lights/stars - Personality change - Feeling of being stunned - Unsteadiness of gait - Depression - Slurred/incoherent speech - Ringing in the ears - Loss of consciousness