Youth Athletes Are At Risk of Concussion Misdiagnosis

With so much recent media attention concerning concussion injuries, it is often a parent’s greatest concern when watching their child on game night.

Overall, the highest incidence of sport related concussions are in hockey and rugby—however, statistics are most likely lower than the true incidence as many athletes still do not recognize or report concussion injuries. What is equally concerning is when families often consider concussions as a temporary/less serious “condition” than an actual brain injury. The reality is that concussions are traumatic brain injuries that should be taken seriously.

Concussions are processes that affect the brain, induced by traumatic forces resulting in the onset of neurological impairment. Concussions may be sustained by a direct or indirect force to the head—with most concussions not causing any loss of consciousness or only lasting for a few seconds long.

Young athletes are at particular risk for misdiagnosis because of their still-developing neurological system. With variations in test scores already found in healthy children of the same age group, concussion testing in a child post-injury often reveals very little. The need for pre-injury baseline testing has become apparent. Knowing how a child performs pre-injury is crucial in determining proper diagnosis, severity, treatment, and determining back-to-play status.

Sheddon Physiotherapy is recognized IMPACT Test Centre for concussion testing. Physiotherapists are key members of appropriate team management in concussion injuries—from prevention to return to play. Consult your Sheddon Physiotherapist about the IMPACT Test and how it can keep your family safe and active in sports. Call us at (905) 849-4576

By Dana Clark