Concussion Awareness 6 of 8

6. Returning to Play


As our understanding of concussion has improved it is clear that there is significant variability in recovery from concussion. Subtle chemical changes in the brain can now be detected and more sophisticated scans and brain function tests are shedding more light on this.

Any return to play should therefore be assessed on an individual basis and should reflect the level of medical expertise available. Ideally, the club medical practitioner responsible for the player’s health care will advise on and oversee the return to play process. However it is appreciated that not all GPs have a detailed understanding of this process and engaging NHS health care professionals in such a process can be very difficult. Coaches and/or parents may therefore find it useful to refer the doctor to this guidance.

In young players a very conservative Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) approach is recommended, and it is advisable to extend the amount of rest and the length of the graded reintroduction of exertion. As part of the process it is also prudent to consult with the young person’s academic teacher(s) or tutor to ensure that their academic performance has returned to normal.

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Concussion - Headway Advice Leaflet

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Concussion - Recovery and Return to Play Routine

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