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Concussion Return to Participation Protocols

Return to Participation (RTP) Protocol*:

The chart below is one example of a RTP protocol. However, patients and athletes should be sure to follow the protocol set forth by the qualified medical provider overseeing their care. It is recommended that there be approximately 24 hours between each stage. Recovery time is different for each individual and there are a number of different factors that can affect the healing process, this is why it is important to be evaluated by a concussion trained health care provider.

Stage Aim Activity Goal
1 No Activity Daily activities that do not provoke symptoms. Gradual re-introduction of work/school activities.
2 Light aerobic exercise Walking or stationary cycling at slow to medium pace.
No resistance training.
Increase heart rate
3 Sport-specific exercise Running or skating drills
No head impact activities.
Add movement
4 Non-contact training drills Harder training drills, eg, passing drills. May start progressive resistance training. Exercise, coordination, and increased thinking
5 Full contact practice Following medical clearance, participate in normal training activities. Restore confidence and assess functional skills by coaching staff
6 Return to Sport Normal game play. Normal game play.

*This protocol is implemented to promote compliance with Return to Play Policies, which outline that athletes exhibiting symptoms of a concussion cannot return to play until cleared by an appropriate healthcare professional.

Please consult your state protocol or refer any questions to a concussion trained healthcare provider.

 Concussion Resource Documents:

For more information take the Athletico Concussion Quiz or contact a Head Injury and Concussion Management Clinician by emailing

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