Concussion is an injury risk associated with participation in collision sports. It has been identified as a research priority for many contacts and collision sports governing bodies worldwide. However, concussion remains under-researched in terms of clinical translation from both experimental models to clinical understanding, and from clinical studies to sports policy. Currently, the clinical management of concussion is largely guided by the presence or absence of symptoms with recovery indicated once all post-injury symptoms have resolved. Management of concussion includes physical and cognitive rest until acute symptoms resolve, with a graded program of exertion implemented prior to medical clearance and return-to-play. Considering the potential sequelae, the heterogeneity of symptoms, and the lack of an intervention known to prevent concussion, it is not any wonder that concussion is one of the most complex and perplexing injuries faced by medical professionals, and why making the return-to-play decision can be quite challenging. This chapter will provide an overview of the current clinical management guidelines and research literature pertaining to identification and diagnosis of injury, acute and post-acute management, and return-to-play decision-making. The traditional standard assessment process (e.g., symptom reporting, cognitive assessment, balance testing), new methods and advanced technology (e.g., ocular-motor testing, neuroimaging techniques), and biomarkers (e.g., blood plasma and serum, fluid) have led to greater insights into sports concussion and will also be briefly explored in this chapter.
Part of the book: Sport and Exercise Science