Concussions: Resources and Supports on Campus

Return to Play After a Concussion

If you are diagnosed with a concussion, you require medical clearance to return to physical activities such as team sports, riding a bicycle, driving, etc. There are protocols for Return to Play that you can use while you are followed by a doctor. Once your doctor clears you to return to your regular activities, please have them complete the following form:

WHEN CAN I RETURN TO SPORT? It is very important that you do not go back to sports if you have any concussion symptoms or signs. Return to sport and activity must follow a step-wise approach:

Step 1 After an initial short period of rest of 24-48 hours, light cognitive and physical activity can be initiated as long as they don’t worsen symptoms. A physician, preferably one with experience managing concussions, should be consulted before beginning a step-wise return to learn and sport strategy.
Step 2 Light exercise such as walking or stationary cycling, for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3 Sport specific aerobic activity (ie. skating in hockey, running in soccer), for 20-30 minutes. NO CONTACT.
Step 4 “On field” practice such as ball drills, shooting drills, and other activities with NO CONTACT (ie. no checking, no heading the ball, etc.).
Step 5 “On field” practice with body contact, once cleared by a doctor.
Step 6 Game play.

There should be at least 24 hours (or longer) for each step of the progression. If any symptoms worsen during exercise, you should go back to the previous step. Resistance training should be added only in the later stages (Step 4 or 5 at the earliest). If symptoms are persistent (e.g, more than 10–14 days in adults or more than 1 month in children), the athlete should be referred to a healthcare professional who is an expert in the management of concussion.

 

You should not go back to sport until you have been cleared to do so by a doctor.

 

Information above has been adapted with permission from Parachute Canada.