THE BALANCE CENTER

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Concussion Management Program
Helping you play a smarter game!

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury defined as a pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces. The lasting effects of sustaining a concussion can be severe and potentially life changing. This is the reason why concussion management continues to gain attention across all levels of competitive sports.

What are the symptoms?
  • Dizziness
  • Imbalance
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Visual problems (trouble focusing, blurry, strain)
  • Sensitivities (light, sound, smell)
  • Dazed/Confused
  • Personality/Behavior change
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Memory loss prior to concussion (retrograde amnesia)
  • Headache
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Neck Pain
  • Sadness/Depression
  • Loss of consciousness (less than 10% of the time)

How is a concussion diagnosed?

Concussions can be difficult to detect and may go unreported. It is reported that nearly 50% of athletes that experience concussive like symptoms will not report them, even with proper education on the risks of playing with a possible concussion. Various sources report approximately 10-25% of concussions are diagnosed. The athletic trainers or physicians are typically the ones on the field to make the initial assessment and diagnosis if a player has sustained a concussion. Off the field the official diagnosis is typically based on 3 types of assessments:

  • Symptoms checklist that are reported by the athlete
  • Written or computerized assessment that tests memory and the ability to process information
  • Balance assessments

What happens if your child sustains a concussion?

You should consult your school policy for their protocol on how a concussion is managed. The athlete should be monitored over a period of time and then will need to be released by a physician to return to play. Returning a child to play too soon post-concussion makes them more susceptible to a second concussion and puts the athlete at risk.

Pre-season balance assessments can improve your child's safety!

Baseline testing of balance prior to playing sports provides the physician with an invaluable reference point should he or she sustain a concussion. Balance & Mobility Therapy utilizes the most advanced balance assessment technology by NeuroCom®. This technology can detect the most subtle change in balance providing the physician with valuable information on level of recovery following a concussion. We look forward to helping any way we can to improve athlete safety, speed of recovery, and help you GET BACK IN THE GAME!

Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) by NeuroCom®

Balance is controlled by the brain utilizing three different systems. The first is your vision. Simply put, what you are looking at gives your brain information about where you are in space. Second is your vestibular system. This is composed of small organs in your inner ear that are stimulated with head movement, acceleration/deceleration, and a change in position. They also help you stabilize your vision when you move your head (Vestibulo ocular Reflex). The third system is called your proprioception. This system involves the sensation in our limbs (especially the feet). They sense changes in pressure such as moving forward on your toes or back on your heels. In normal healthy individuals the brain seamlessly integrates information from all three systems allowing us to move and maintain our balance without having to think about it or even knowing it.

When a concussion or brain injury occurs this highly complex balance system is disrupted. The brain may have trouble processing information from the 3 systems causing a disruption or a delay of balance and postural stability. NeuroCom’s Balance Master or CDP, is able to determine which systems are affected and to what degree. It also measures how well an athlete can stabilize their vision while the head is moving (critical for returning to sports and improving performance).

This testing gives the clinician valuable information on how well the brain is processing information and to what degree the athlete has recovered in the event of a concussion. This is especially true if a baseline measurement has been performed.

Primary benefits of a baseline assessment:

  • Objective data for safer return-to-play decisions
  • A clear picture of what is "normal" for each athlete
  • Improved athlete safety

Program Details

Who should attend: All local area youth athletes who are participating in a sport where there is a potential for head impacts.

How it works

The entire balance assessment can generally be completed in less than 20 minutes.

Cost of testing

As a community service, the fee for this valuable baseline balance assessment is $30. This includes re-testing post concussion with information sent to the physician of your choice.