Sports related concussion, also considered mTBI, has remained in the public eye due to heightened fear concerning playing football and other collision based sports. Concussion prevention, as well as rehabilitating the brain after a concussion, is a high priority for many sports medical practitioners as well as for athletes. For these reasons, researchers associated with the American Athletic Conference (AAC) have surveyed concussion incidence in football. One of the AAC teams engaged in regular neurovisual training (NVT) and concluded this training program is associated with faster return to play post-injury in this observational cohort study.
The 12 schools of the AAC were surveyed from 2014 - 2018 concerning football induced concussions.
We found that the AAC’s average seasonal concussion rate was m= 12.1, sd=1.02 concussions per year and the average return to play time was m=13.8, sd= 6.3 days. In the team where there was consistent NVT and NVT oriented rehabilitation post-concussion, we found that the concussion rate was m= 3.5, sd= 1.3 concussions per year and the return to play time was m= 8.6, sd= 1.5 days. Both numbers are significantly lower than in the other AAC teams.
The current paper reports that there may be mitigation strategies that can be employed to aid in faster return to play times, as well as decrease the incidence of concussions. Such attempts to make football safer are needed as brain injury has been associated with long term consequences. Improving safety and brain health through mitigation strategies along with rehabilitation methods may aid in keeping athletes safer during play and throughout their lifespan.
Clark, Joseph F.; Selmanovic, Enna; Drewry, Kip; Vincent, Jon; Himmler, Aaron; Mangine, Bob; Hasselfeld, Kim; Khoury, Jane; Polanski, David; and Divine, Jon
"Survey of Prevention and Intervention Strategies Reducing Return to Play Post-Concussion in Division 1 Football,"
NeuroSports: Vol. 1:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/neurosports/vol1/iss1/5