Return to Play.
Return to play is a step-by-step rehabilitation strategy and concussion protocol including assessments and sport-specific activities to determine physical and cognitive recovery.
Our practitioners work with athletes through the stages of concussion recovery.
Current recommendations are for a stepwise return to play program. In order to resume activity, the athlete must be symptom free and off any pain control or headache medications. The athlete should be carrying a full academic load without any significant accommodations. Finally, the athlete must have clearance from an appropriate health care provider. The program described below is a guideline for returning concussed athletes when they are symptom free. Athletes with multiple concussions and athletes with prolonged symptoms often require a very different return to activity program and should be managed by a physician that has experience in treating concussion. The following program allows for one step per 24 hours. The program allows for a gradual increase in heart rate/physical exertion, coordination, and then allows contact. If symptoms return, the athlete should stop activity, notify their healthcare provider before progressing to the next level. When returning, the athlete must start with the step last completed successfully.
Stage 1 – Complete cognitive and physical rest
Stage 2 – Light aerobic exercise
Stage 3 – Increase sport specific exercise
Stage 4 – Non contact practice
Stage 5 – Full contact practice
Stage 6 – Return to Full Activity