The growth in knowledge of the potential impact of concussion injuries in recent years has prompted sports organizations across Canada to work with experts in health and healthcare to enhance the safety of athletes.
Barrie Minor Lacrosse has collaborated with Sports Medicine, the largest sport injury clinic in the region, and the Complete Concussion Management Inc. Network. Together, they have teamed up to create an integrated concussion strategy to enhance lacrosse player safety.
Complete Concussion Management Inc. (CCMI) analyzes leading research from global sources to develop best-in-class approaches to concussion care. Their evidence-based training programs and integrated healthcare technologies empower multidisciplinary teams to implement standardized care for those impacted by concussions. Their network and patient database enable large-scale research to advance concussion management and ultimately, the long-term health and well-being of concussion patients.
Sports Medicine is proud to be following the Canadian Concussion Collaborative (CCC) guidelines for a good Concussion Clinic, and proud to note that we have been exceeding most of their recommendations since our program’s inception. Along with a player’s Family Physician, Sports Medicine provides multidisciplinary concussion care, management and treatment. A Sport Medicine Physician with experience in concussion management is available when athletes require further assessment and ongoing involvement regarding medical stability, trajectory of care, need for medical speciality referral and decisions on clearance to return to activity.
The Barrie Minor Lacrosse Association policy made it mandatory for all players with a suspected concussion to be seen by a physician for diagnosis and medical clearance, before getting back in the game. This ensures players are receiving proper diagnosis and following a 10-step gradual return in a lacrosse-specific environment. These steps include a treadmill test, and an exertion test prior to medical clearance. If Multimodal Testing is available, one additional layer of risk management is utilized with objective comparative data.
Players are able to see their progress through clear guidelines in the return-to play-protocol, which outlines the recovery process into a series of steps. The goal of the process is to slowly add safe and manageable activity levels; gauging how a player responds at each step and progressively adding more if all goes well. This is done through, at a minimum, a light NON-contact practice, an Intense NON-contact practice and a full contact practice before clearance.
The progressive concussion policy involved the collaborative work of our medical professionals, coaches, trainers, and families to make sure players were supported in every step of recovery so they could return to their favourite game safely, and ready to play. One of the critical pieces of the implementation process was the fact that all coaches and trainers were required to attend a workshop which provided education on how to prevent, identify, and manage concussions.
Key documents out of the 5th international conference on concussion in sport:
These key messages were developed by the Canadian Concussion Collaborative (June 2017).
For all the resources including the Ministry of Education of Ontario and the Government of Ontario’s policies and legislation about concussion in Canada, please refer to the Canadian Concussion Collaborative website. Concussion research and consensus is constantly in flux and as such the CCC continues to monitor and update their resources as new information comes forward.