OVGH Test can Help Determine When it s Safe to Return to Field after Concussion
Fall means football, along with other popular contact sports. While many are eager to strap on their helmets and pads to start playing, safety is still a concern. Athlete injuries unfortunately are a frequent occurrence on the field, at the track or in the ball park. For many on the road to recovery, the question is not just “How do I treat the pain”, but rather, “When is it safe for me to get back to the game?”
“Heading back onto the field too soon after a concussion can be detrimental to a player’s long-term health,” said Ginny Renegar, Physical Therapist at Ohio Valley General Hospital. “Before they can start to train again, they have to make sure all symptoms have truly dissipated.”
But studies have shown patients often hide their symptoms in order to play sooner. Finding a method that determines when a player can safely rejoin his or her teammates is available at Ohio Valley General Hospital’s Balance Center.
Balance assessment tests are a way to provide objective data to trainers, coaches and players on their potential limitations and motor control. This test utilizes NeuroCom technology originally developed for NASA, and not only helps reduce the risk of re-injury; it gives athletes a safer rehabilitation process.
At Ohio Valley General Hospital, we offer the Balance Master assessment and rehabilitation system. The Balance Master tests patients with mobility, dizziness and/or balance problems using a highly sensitive forceplate connected to a computer. The machine will measure a patient’s postural sway as they perform tasks designed to objectively assess functional ability.
“This machine not only helps identify a patient’s balance problem, determining the best treatment plan for that individual, but it allows them to perform different exercises on the machine as part of their therapy,” added Renegar.
Preseason testing can also be done. This makes it easier to see when an athlete is back to his or her “baseline.”
Returning to play after an injury should always be a decision agreed upon by your doctor and coach or trainer. With the Balance Master providing an unbiased look at a player’s health…that decision just became easier to make!
For more information on how the OVGH Balance Center can help you, call the Rehabilitation Services Department at (412) 777-6231.