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Concussion Baseline Testing for Cheerleading

Cheerleading is an increasingly popular sport. Along with the increase in participation comes an increase in injuries. Cheerleading has one the highest rates of injury in high school female athletes. One of the most common injuries we see are concussions. Concussions occur during falling or spotting while stunting, but may also occur during tumbling or practicing on unsafe surfaces. Concussions are a traumatic brain injury and can be life threatening if not identified and treated appropriately. One of the steps we take to make sure we give the appropriate treatment is by doing base-line testing such as the SCAT2 or Impact programs. These can be done in various ways. The purpose of base-line testing is to identify the athlete’s  level of brain function prior to injury. After an athlete sustains a concussion they are re-assessed using the same base-line testing system to compare the athlete’s current status to their normal status. The base-line testing allows practitioners or better assess when it is safe for an athlete to begin return to play protocol after traumatic brain injury and prevent the occurrence of further brain injury. Base-line concussion testing should be performed for any athlete participating in activities that may result in traumatic brain injury or concussion. Twenty minutes of your time is worth a preventing a lifetime of brain damage.

Blog was provided by Sara Bartlett ATC