The return to play progression is a 6-step process. At least 24 hours must pass before moving on to the next step. If symptoms return, the athlete must go back a step. The steps are as follows:
1. No activity- Directly after being diagnosed with a concussion, the athlete should have total physical and mental rest. Once the student-athlete is asymptomatic at rest and concussion test scores are 95% or better than the baseline scores, the athlete will progress to the next step.
2. Light aerobic exercise- Walking, swimming, or biking while keeping heart rate below 70% of max.
3. Sport-specific exercise- Basic low impact drills associated with the athlete's sport. (No head impact activities)
4. Non-contact training drills- Progress to more complex drills.
5. Full contact practice- After receiving medical clearance from supervising physician, athlete may resume normal training activities.
6. Return to play
Some Signs and Symptoms:
Inappropriate playing behavior
Decreased playing ability
Inability to perform daily activities
Cognitive and memory dysfunction
Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
Seeing bright lights/stars
Feeling of being stunned
Unsteadiness of gait
Ringing in the ears
Loss of consciousness