AthletiCo Launches Head Injury and Concussion Management Program
AthletiCo recently launched a Head Injury and Concussion Management Program to benefit individuals suffering from ongoing concussion symptoms. As the largest provider of athletic trainers in the United States, AthletiCo recognizes the importance of providing concussion management training to its athletic trainers, who are often the first to come in contact with athletes who sustain concussions.
“We provide athletic training services to over 150 organizations and events in Illinois and Milwaukee, which includes more than 60 high school and college sports programs,” says Jason Bannack, AthletiCo’s Director of Athletic Training Services. “There is no such thing as a minor head injury, and it’s important that parents, coaches, athletic directors, and athletes are given proper information and treatment to best manage any head injury.”
If an athlete suffers from a concussion and remains symptomatic after seven days, AthletiCo’s athletic trainers are able to test for balance deficits to determine if the athlete should be evaluated by a vestibular physical therapist. Vestibular physical therapists are trained in concussion management and can evaluate and treat patients with complaints of dizziness, balance deficits, and motion sensitivity. After evaluation, vestibular therapists can refer the athlete to an appropriate physician who specializes in vestibular conditions, show the athlete stretches or exercises to manage symptoms, or simply educate the athlete on how to care for his or her condition. Athletic trainers work closely with both the physicians and vestibular physical therapists to ensure a thorough team approach from point of injury through treatment.
AthletiCo’s Concussion Management Program was initiated by AthletiCo athletic trainer, Mike Palm, who while working on his master’s in sports medicine at the University of Pittsburgh developed a passion for understanding concussions from renowned concussion clinicians at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
“I have been working on advancing AthletiCo’s concussion program for the past 4 years to create a uniform means of evaluating and managing concussions,” says Palm, who also worked with the University of Illinois’s Brain Injury Laboratory on such research projects as injury prevalence and perception of concussions by parents and coaches.
With Palm’s leadership, every AthletiCo athletic trainer has been trained on the latest concussion evaluation tests and return-to-play guidelines. If needed, athletic trainers will provide the athlete with a list of AthletiCo vestibular physical therapists and locations to schedule a complimentary injury screening.