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Concussion Tips for Parents, Coaches & Athletes

The Cantu Concussion Center specializes in the evaluation and treatment of three concussive brain injuries: concussions, post-concussion syndrome (PCS), and symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Every patient seen at the Cantu Concussion Center will benefit from a range of expertise, treatment strategies, and established therapies—all under one roof.


When someone suffers a concussion, the clock begins to tick. Know what you can do to help ensure you or your child are getting the treatment you need, when you need it.


For Patients

Patients who suffer traumatic head injuries often wonder “When will I feel better?” The most important thing to do if you may be suffering from the symptoms of a concussion is to seek treatment.

Once you have been evaluated and you begin receiving therapy, you are very likely to get better. The process may be slow, it’s different for every patient, but with the right treatment and dedication to following your treatment plan, you can return to normal eventually.


For Parents and Coaches

Though parents and coaches shouldn't attempt to diagnose a concussion—that’s a job for physicians trained to manage head trauma—that doesn’t exclude them from the important job of studying children or players for signs of head trauma. The sooner a child gets to a doctor or medical personnel trained in concussion diagnosis and receives proper treatment, the better the outcome.

If you suspect a child has suffered a concussive brain injury, try the following:

  • Test his short-term memory by asking questions about recent events.
  • Test her orientation by asking her to repeat numbers or unrelated words at various intervals.
  • Ask how the child is feeling. Are they feeling any of the symptoms of a concussion?

Observe the child, and if symptoms or cognitive difficulties persist find a physician who has training in concussions and take the next available appointment. If any symptoms worsen, especially headache, nausea and vomiting, or level of alertness, seek immediate medical evaluation.

For coaches, if there is any concern about a player, he or she should be pulled and evaluated.


Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Concussion comes from the Latin word “concussus,” which means “to violently shake.”

The Cantu Concussion Center defines a concussion as “a trauma-induced change in mental status.” It is a broad definition for a hard-to-diagnose injury with a wide range of signs and symptoms, including:

Physical Emotional Cognitive Sleep Disturbance
• Headaches • Depression • Difficulty concentrating • Sleeping more or
less than usual
• Nausea • Nervousness • Troubles with memory • Trouble falling asleep
• Vomiting • Irritability • Feeling mentally slow or
as in a fog that will not lift
 
• Balance and/or
visual problems
• Panic attacks    
• Sensitivity to
light and/or noise
     
• Fatigue and/or
low energy
     

Baseline Testing

Combining sophisticated technology and clinical assessment, baseline testing provides your athlete’s physician with objective assessments that facilitate a smooth transition to recovery and safe return to play, should a concussion occur.

Baseline testing:

  • Provides a snapshot of how the brain functions when healthy
  • Helps a physician compare post-concussion measures against the normal baseline measures
  • Can be extremely helpful in determining the severity of the concussion
  • Helps doctors establish an individualized treatment plan

Read more detailed information on what to expect and the three different tests, which are used to provide a complete neurological picture.

TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

Call 1-978-287-8200 to register for an appointment.

Please allow one hour for the completion
of all five tests.

COST

$75 per athlete

LOCATIONS

Baseline testing is available in two locations:

Cantu Concussion Center
310 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742

Westford Health Center
Route 110, 133 Littleton Road
Westford, MA 01886