IMPACT Testing & Management of Mild Tramautic Brain Injuries

What is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)?

Recently the issue of concussion diagnosis and management has been a hot topic in the field of sports medicine. Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries and should be treated as such. If you have ever had a “ding” or headaches, blurred or double vision, nausea, or confusion after sustaining a blow to the head, you have suffered a concussion and need to be evaluated by a medical professional. In Oregon, laws such as Max’s law call for the proper treatment of MTBI’s.

Recent medical research is reporting more and more about the problems that can come from concussions – memory loss, learning and concentration problems – and if not managed properly, more serious and life-altering affects.

How can L.O. Physical Therapy help to properly manage concussions?

Athletic trainers are experts in concussion management, testing, and coordinating the return to play process with physicians. Having an athletic trainer available to WCHS will make the diagnosis and recovery process as simple and as quick as possible, with the SAFETY OF THE ATHLETE as the #1 concern. When an athlete sustains a blow to the head, or any symptoms warranting an evaluation, there are strict guidelines that govern a safe return to school, physical activity, and sport.

Our sports medicine team has been assembled with this in mind. We have partnered with Dr. James Chestnutt, head of Sports Medicine at OHSU and leader in the field of concussion management. He is available to clear any WCHS student that has sustained a MTBI. Our evaluation of the concussion always includes a cervical screen performed by a Physical Therapist to rule out any spinal cord injuries and provide the most comprehensive screen possible.

What is IMPACT testing?

IMPACT is a computerized testing system that provides a baseline test with a score for each neurocognitive category that is relevant to concussion diagnosis. When a student has a suspected concussion they are re-tested as soon as they are symptom free. This test is then scored against the baseline with guidelines in place for a return to activity. A baseline test provides medical professionals with a normal assessment of cognitive function. Our program provides a computerized baseline test, the latest information on prevention, screening, return to sport protocols, and a post-injury test should a concussion occur. Therapeutic Associates LO PT and OHSU Sports Medicine have teamed up to provide the safest, most accurate and fastest way for athletes to safely return to their normal activities.