Prepare for Return to Sports with a Concussion Screening

The return to exercise and organized sports brings with it the possibility of concussion

By: Deepak S. Patel, MD, CIC, FAAFP, FACSM Brain Health & Conditions

Illinois has moved into phase 4 of reopening, and people are becoming more active and returning to fitness centers and sports activities. We are seeing the return of organized sports at various levels. Camps are starting for children and teens who will be happy to enjoy the company of their friends as well as their sport.

The return to exercise and organized sports brings with it the possibility of concussion as well as injuries from overuse and falling. Although many people became creative and resourceful when their usual exercise or sports routines weren't available, others of us may have missed our usual preparation time and had limited conditioning. Because of this, overuse injuries may be even more common this year. Accurate diagnosis and the right treatment will expedite return to activity.

Baseline Testing Encouraged

Some camps and sports will soon start.  Parents are encouraged to schedule their student athletes for baseline ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and Sway tests before they begin these contact activities. The baseline tests provide valuable information for comparison in the event of a concussion, and the cost is minimal. The ImPACT test measures memory, attention span, visual and verbal problem solving while the Sway test digitally measures balance and reaction times. These tests are offered to children as young as age five.

Many high schools and universities offer these tests, but the testing may be delayed this year. The tests are currently available at Rush Copley Medical Group.

Schedule a Concussion Test

Baseline ImPACT or Sway tests can be scheduled separately, together or in addition to a sports physical for $25 each. Baseline tests are not billable to insurance, so payment is requested at the time of service. Appointments are available in Aurora and Yorkville. To schedule a test, call 630-236-4270.

Dr. Patel specializes in family and sports medicine. He is a nationally known author and presenter on sports medicine and concussion. Whether you need an annual checkup or treatment for an injury that keeps you from playing your favorite sport, Dr. Patel will help you tackle your health challenge on or off the field.

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