CLEARANCE…HOORAY! (Download PDF)
Congratulations on being cleared for full academics and returning to sports as tolerated!
Recovery from concussion can be long and present numerous challenges for both athletes and non-athletes.
It is important to realize that you can reduce your risk of injury. Take steps to help prevent future injuries and/or return of concussion symptoms, such as those below.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY RESTRICTIONS
It is strongly recommended that individuals with a history of concussion refrain from any rotational/high velocity activities for at least six months from the date of clearance (and up to one year, depending on previous injuries). These activities include, but are not limited to:
- Amusement park rides
- Water tubing/skiing/boarding
- Diving (diving board, cliff diving, sky diving)
- Bungee jumping
- Snow tubing/skiing/sledding/snowboarding
- Any other activity that causes acceleration/deceleration or rotational motion to the head or neck
WEAR A HELMET
Helmets can help to prevent head injuries such as skull fractures when fitted properly. However, even with a helmet, you should avoid hits to the head or blows to the body. Wear a helmet with these activities:
- Contact sports, such as football, ice hockey, lacrosse
- Skateboarding, in-line skating, or riding a scooter
- Batting or base running during baseball and softball games or practices
- Catching during baseball and softball games or practices
- Horseback riding
- Bike riding
- Snowboarding and skiing
See these flyers for your activity to ensure a proper helmet fit.
A recent study of over 6,700 high school athletes has shown that overall neck strength is a significant predictor of concussion. In fact, for every one pound (1 lb) increase in neck strength, odds of concussion decreased by five percent (5%).
Increase your neck strength by doing the cervical strengthening exercises on the attached handout, or read this article for more neck strengthening exercises to add to your resistance training.
There is growing interest in waiting until student-athletes reach 14 years of age to participate in riskier sports activities, and in requiring helmets for riskier sports, in part due to the increased vulnerability to injury of a child’s brain and prolonged recovery for children compared to adults:
- Require helmets for women’s lacrosse and field hockey
- Wait until high school for:
- Heading in soccer (http://www.sportslegacy.org/policy/safer-soccer/)
- Tackling in football and rugby
- Checking in hockey and lacrosse
For training, information, and the HEADS UP Concussion and Helmet Safety App – Download for FREE on the App Store or Google play! http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/resources/index.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. Available at: www.cdc.gov/headup/helmets/index.html. Accessed June 30, 2015
Collins CL et al. Neck strength: A protective factor reducing risk for concussion in high school sports. The Journal of Primary Prevention. 2014; 35:309-319.