Balance Assessment: key in detection and rehabilitation

So last night in the 1st quarter of the junior varsity game our team was fielding a punt, the returner bobbled the ball and started to lean forward to recover it.  He was then drilled in the chest/head by two oncoming defenders.  He laid there for a second, and about a second later I was standing over him.

He attempted to sit up but could not muster the energy, nor wherewithal to complete this easy task.  After the routine checking of neck and gross neurological issues it was time to stand him up.  With the aid of me and another coach he was brought to his feet and it was time for his first and most important concussion test, balance assessment.

One nanosecond after the coach and I released stabilization he grabbed me like I was the rock in his world.  FAIL.  As we turned to the sideline he started walking not in the direction we were pointed. FAIL.  I didn’t need sophisticated tests to tell that this player was “possibly” suffering from a concussion.

Gross and fine balance are easily disrupted with any head trauma.  Not only are your bearings in your head messed up, the inner ear is affected, along with vision.  That is why, in my professional opinion, Continue reading

Video Game Testing and Rehab

Using the video game platform from Nintendo, the Wii, is not novel as much as it may be possibly underused.  One of the first posts on this blog dealt with the usage of the Wii at two different universities, on a trial basis.  What brings me back to this topic; a search earlier this month revealed an article from February of last year and the usage of the Wii at a high school in Pennsylvania;

Testing high school athletes for concussion symptoms is a serious business, but one way the Haverford School athletic training staff is accomplishing this is through a game – Nintendo Wii Fit Plus.

The Wii Fit Plus module contains several games that require balance and coordination – some even require thinking, processing and then quick decisions translated into body movements.

This is what some people are now calling “Wii-hab” from a concussion.

“There are only a few colleges that I know of who are using the Wii as part of a concussion protocol, and I am not aware of any high schools in our area that are using it [for that purpose] yet,” said Haverford School athletic trainer Bill Wardle.

I have always thought that this could be used Continue reading