With the full ramifications of concussions on local athletes being better understood every day, Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Sports Motion program is doing what it can to protect local athletes from the long-term dangers that go along with head injuries.
SOMC Sports Motion is now performing baseline testing on local athletes. This computerized cognitive test from Axon Sports provides a more complete picture of where an athlete’s cognitive ability is following a potential concussion. This prevents athletes from inadvertently being cleared to play, and possibly suffer additional injuries, before fully recovering from an initial head injury. It is part of Sports Motion’s current Concussion Management Protocol, which has oversight from numerous physicians and neurology staff.
“Statistically, one in ten athletes will suffer a concussion every year,” Brett Lacy, community relations coordinator for SOMC’s Outpatient Rehab, said. “These are serious injuries with potentially long-term affects. These tests help us recognize when a concussion has occurred, and better gauge when it is safe for an athlete to return to play.”
Baseline testing provides an idea of what an athletes cognitive ability is before an injury. These results can then be compared to test results after an injury and used to gauge the recovery process. Allowing athletes to suffer additional head injuries before having a full recovery from an initial concussion can result in even greater damage.
“Things like coordination come back fairly quickly after a concussion,” Brian Tennant, an athletic trainer with SOMC Sports Motion, said. “Cognitive ability is the last thing to come back.”
Testing is completed for every school covered by SOMC Sports Motion, and will take place prior to the start of football, volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball and softball seasons. It is considered a best practice in keeping athletes safe.
“Sometimes, the kids will get mad if I tell them they can’t practice or play,” Tennant said. “I tell them that I want them to be able to remember their child’s name when they’re 30.”
For more information, contact SOMC Sports Motion at 740-356-7438.