Concussions are a concern for many players and are a risk for all athletes.
“I have seen them in track. I’ve seen them in football, in basketball,” said PV athletic trainer, Jason Viel.
They are also an injury that many do not take seriously.
“With athletes then and athletes now, the biggest problem is they fail to report their symptoms,” said Viel. “They lie, or say no I am good to go.”
These situations are not good since trainers say recognition is very important when dealing with concussions. These brain injuries are serious, and the East Coast Hockey League is beginning to take even more precautions. Now the ECHL, which includes the Quad Cities Mallards, requires that athletes go through what is known as base line testing before the season begins.
“Base line testing is very important because you don’t know your normal necessarily,” said Lead Physical Therapist with GMC Silvis, Laura Frankowski. “We are debuting our C3 Logic Program, which is new to the Genesis Concussion Management Program.
The program helps find each individual’s norm. This way, if an athlete is concussed therapists and trainers can compare their brain’s current state to its normal functioning.
“It is a combined program on an iPad that tests both cognitive and balance function for athletes either pre or post injury,” said Frankowski.
“It’s a good way to see,” said QC Mallards Hockey defense-men, Darren McMillan. “Sometimes you get hit and you don’t really realize that somethings wrong and you can go back to these tests and if you are off a little bit you can go back and check you’re alright.”
The C3 program is new to Genesis, but Pleasant Valley has been using the program since last year.
“You are going to get a more true testing of whether the athlete is back to their normal brain function or not after the concussion,” said Viel.
The trainer also says that the program helps take the guess work out of concussion recovery.
“It makes it easier for us to understand when the athlete is actually better,” said Viel.
Anyone can try the base line testing at Genesis Physical Therapy, but trainers stress that it is important for athletes to also acknowledge when they think they have symptoms of a concussion.