As an athlete, you’ve worked hard to hone your skills whether you’re on the field, in the gym, or on the road. Unfortunately, all the preparation in the world can’t always prevent accidents and injuries. If you are injured, there’s a strong chance you could suffer from a traumatic brain injury ( TBI ) such as a concussion.
Concussions are one of the most common injuries that athletes of all ages can suffer. You’ve likely heard many stories of the potentially devastating consequences of concussions. Luckily, there’s a new system known as ImPACT Testing designed to help keep you safer if you’ve suffered a concussion.
The Symptoms of a Concussion
Concussions are particularly dangerous injuries because it is possible to exhibit zero physical signs. A concussion occurs any time you suffer a significant impact to the head. Your brain is a delicate organ that actually floats in fluid inside of your skull. When you sustain a head injury, your brain can collide with the skull, producing swelling, and damage to brain cells. The effects of a concussion can be temporary or even long-term.
It can be difficult as an athlete to back away from your favorite activity to examine yourself after a fall or collision; however, it’s crucial to your health to do so. You’ll need to take a moment and evaluate whether you’re experiencing the following symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cognitive issues
- Memory issues
- Sleep disruption
- Emotional difficulties
It is also crucial that you are evaluated by a medical professional immediately following any injury that impacts your head. Your doctor can use evaluative tools to assess any potential damage and provide the appropriate treatment.
ImPACT Testing is a Gamechanger
Medical professionals have developed an amazing tool that can help you through a concussion even before you’re injured. ImPACT Testing is a 25 minute online test for athletes between the ages of 12 and 59. The test is designed to establish a baseline of functionality which can then be compared to results following an injury.
The test itself contains a series of questions that measure the following:
- Attention span
- Working memory
- Sustained & selective attention time
- Nonverbal problem solving
- Reaction time
These factors are all greatly affected when you suffer a concussion, so establishing a baseline for yourself can be crucial for proper treatment of a concussion. The test generates a PDF report for healthcare professionals that lists your scores. These can then be compared to your post-injury scores to establish the extent of your injury.
If you do have to take the test following a head injury, it will be administered by a healthcare professional. You’ll enter in your injury in a report section and then proceed with the test itself. Your doctor can then use these scores to develop a treatment plan addressing your specific needs that might have gone unnoticed otherwise.
To learn more about ImPACT Testing or recovery following a concussion, call our office at (877) 487-8289.