Services Provided | What is a Concussion?
Concussion Signs and Symptoms | Did You Know? | Clinical Team
Our mission at the Chicago Sports Concussion Clinic at Rush is to provide child, teen and adult athletes with prompt evaluation, proper treatment and medical clearance for sports-related concussion. Every athlete will receive a comprehensive evaluation, including a medical exam, neurocognitive testing and, if indicated, neuropsychological testing. The clinic team will guide treatment, which may include rehabilitation and neurocognitive and vestibular therapy.
The primary goal of concussion management in our clinic will be to return athletes to their sport in the safest condition possible. Through this clinic, we hope to increase awareness of the significance of concussions among athletes, parents, coaches and trainers. In addition, we aim to advance understanding of concussion diagnosis and management among health care professionals, such as emergency room physicians, family physicians and pediatricians.
Primary evaluations will be performed by our sports medicine physicians trained in diagnosis and management of sports concussions. Depending of the type and severity of their symptoms, athletes may also be seen by neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists and physiatrists. We employ the latest in concussion diagnostic tools, including ImPACT neurocognitive testing, formal neuropsychological assessments and vestibular testing. Concussion management also uses state-of-the-art technology and is based on the latest research in the medical literature. In addition to vestibular and balance rehabilitation, patients may also receive an evaluation by physical or occupational therapists to access muscle strength, range of motion, balance and coordination. The overall goal of our clinic is to get our athletes back to their sport in the timeliest but safest manner.
What is a Concussion?
Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that occur from blows to the head. Some head injuries may appear to be mild, but research is finding that concussions can have serious, long-term effects. Younger athletes appear to be more vulnerable to the effects of head injuries than older athletes. Most concussions occur in contact sports such as football, soccer, lacrosse and basketball, although any trauma to the head can result in concussion.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, from mild headache to loss of consciousness and amnesia. Serious risks of concussion include fatal second impact syndrome, prolonged symptoms that last weeks or months (post-concussive syndrome) and long-term conditions such as depression, cognitive delay and Parkinson-like symptoms. Athletes who return to play while still experiencing symptoms are at highest risk for serious long-term problems, so proper diagnosis and management are critical.
Concussion Signs and Symptoms:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness of feeling off balance
- Amnesia (forgetting)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Double or fuzzy vision
Did You Know?
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Each year, as many as 3.8 million sports- and reaction-related concussions occur in the United States.
- Athletes who have had at least one concussion are at increased risk for another concussion.
- A repeat concussion that happens before the brain fully recovers from the first can result in brain swelling, permanent brain damage and even death. This is called "second impact syndrome".
- To learn more about concussions, visit CDC's Web section on traumatic brain injury.
Our team consists of sports medicine physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists, as well as physical, occupational and behavioral therapists who are experienced in concussion. We use a team-centered, multidisciplinary approach to manage our patients, from mild to the most complex cases. The clinical team includes the following individuals:
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Back to top