Sports Medicine Society Updates Concussion Guidelines

Guidance is for physicians who provide sports concussion care from acute injury to return-to-play
football players
football players

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) has released an updated position statement on concussion in sports. The statement was published in the February issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Kimberly G. Harmon, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues reviewed the existing literature on sports-related concussion (SRC) to update the AMSSM 2013 position statement. The updated statement is intended for sports medicine physicians who provide sports concussion care from acute injury to return-to-play.

According to the statement, SRC is a complex, heterogeneous brain injury that typically resolves clinically in one to four weeks. Diagnosis is challenging, as it relies on self-reported symptoms. Further, there are no easily available objective diagnostic tests. When using sideline and office assessment tools, sports medicine physicians and others who diagnose concussion should be familiar with the psychometric properties of the tools. After a brief period of rest, patients with acute concussion can gradually and progressively increase physical and cognitive activity while staying below their symptom-exacerbation thresholds. For those with prolonged symptoms, a multidisciplinary care team should be considered. Further research is needed on the potential long-term effects from concussions and repetitive subconcussive impacts, as well as the incidence, prevalence, and modifiable risk factors.

"There are many beneficial aspects to participation in sport and exercise that should be balanced against the concern for concussion," write the authors. "The AMSSM supports continued research in the area of SRC to enhance safe participation in sport.

Study authors disclosed financial ties to athletic organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

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