Niagara Regional Minor Football is committed to protecting the health and safety of our athletes. Although we strive to prevent concussions, the reality is concussions can happen. As a result, we have partnered with Niagara Health & Rehab Centre and Complete Concussion Management Inc. (CCMI). CCMI is a Canadian-based, international research and concussion care organization. From initial pre-season baseline testing to concussion treatment and rehabilitation, CCMI practitioners are trained to collaborate with primary care physicians to co-manage concussions and ensure athletes safely Return to Learn, Work and Play.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury caused by acceleration or deceleration of the brain following a significant impact to the head or elsewhere on the body. The impact causes biochemical imbalances within brain cells, resulting in decreased blood flow and temporary energy deficits. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness, headache, pressure in the head, neck pain, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, or balance problems, among others.
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Baseline testing is a series of physical and cognitive tests that provide a pre-injury overview of healthy brain function. These tests can offer healthcare practitioners an objective benchmark on which to compare should an athlete sustain a concussion.
As concussion symptoms often disappear days to weeks before the brain has recovered, having valuable baseline information may help healthcare practitioners to make safer return to play decisions.
As part of our partnership with CCMI, Niagara Regional Minor Football encourages baseline testing for our athletes. For more information about baseline testing click here.
During the early stage following injury, a period of relative symptom limited physical and cognitive rest is recommended. Research suggests 24 to 48 hours; however, these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Following a short period of rest, the International Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport recommends a gradual increase in mental and physical activity guided by a licensed healthcare practitioner trained in concussion management. If symptoms persist beyond 10 days, exercise therapy, manual therapy of the neck, diet and nutrition changes, and vestibular and visual rehabilitation can be effective treatment options in these cases. Visit completeconcussions.com/find-a-clinic to find a recognized healthcare provider.
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Return to Learn, Work and Play
Standardized concussion treatment and Return to Learn, Work, and Play strategies ensure adequate recovery time, and thereby limiting the risk of further injury.
We recommend a 10-step process which includes a phased return to cognitive and then physical activity:
Concussion Sideline Course
All coaches and trainers are encouraged to complete the Concussion Sideline Course, equipping them with an understanding of what a concussion is, how to recognize them, and how to assist in safely managing a concussed athlete back into the classroom and sporting environment.
Coaches and trainers will also receive access to the mobile Concussion Tracker App, allowing them to assess and report suspected concussions to recognized CCMI clinics as well as track recovery status on injured athletes. This allows seamless communication between teams and healthcare practitioners and ensures safe Return to Learn, Work and Play.
Why Complete Concussion Management?
Through Niagara Regional Minor Football’s partnership with CCMI and NHRC, athletes now have access to a network of recognized clinics and multi-disciplinary practitioners that provide experienced and standardized concussion care at any location across Canada.
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