Athletes should not return to play the same day as the injury. Medical clearance must be given before returning to play.
When returning to play, athletes should follow a stepwise symptom-limited program. For example:
- Rest (physical and mental rest)
- Light aerobic exercise (e.g. stationary cycle, walking)
- Sport-specific exercises
- Non-contact training drills (start light resistance training/body weight exercises)
- Full contact practice after medical clearance
- Return to competition (game play)
There should be at least 24 hours between each stage. If symptoms occur while going through the protocol, stop the activity and contact the doctor’s office. Resistance training should only be added in the later stages once the athlete can manage cardiovascular exercises.
Our physical therapy team at Children's Sports Medicine is well equipped with the tools needed for general concussion related physical therapy including, but not limited to: vestibular therapy, return to play/ return to activity protocols, POTS, Buffalo Concussion Treadmill Test.
To schedule physical therapy at Children's Sports Medicine please call (205) 638-6656.