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Concussion Management and Monitoring in Teenagers


There’s no doubt about it, sports are a great way for teens to stay healthy while learning important team-building skills. But there are risks to pushing the limits of speed, strength and endurance. And athletes who push the limits sometimes don’t recognize their own limitations—especially when they’ve had a concussion. 

    DID YOU KNOW THAT... 
        • You do not have to be knocked unconscious to have a concussion? 
        • A hit during football has an impact 80 times the force of gravity? 
        • Heading a soccer ball produces 20 times the force of gravity?

What is a Concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Healthcare professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.

Symptoms You cannot see a concussion and some athletes may not experience and/or report symptoms until hours, days or weeks after the injury. Most people with a concussion will recover quickly and fully. But for some individuals, signs and symptoms of concussion can last for days, weeks, or longer. Symptoms include:

  • Headache or “Pressure” in Head 
  • Nausea or Vomiting 
  • Balance Problems or Dizziness 
  • Double or Blurry Vision 
  • Sensitivity to Light 
  • Sensitivity to Noise 
  • Feeling Sluggish, Hazy, Foggy, or Groggy 
  • Concentration or Memory Problems 
  • Confusion 

Returning to Play Although high school athletes may not become professional or collegiate athletic superstars, the residual impact of being hit in the head can last a lifetime! To preserve the health of our youth, criteria for a return to play following a concussion was created. Many factors go into when an athlete is able to return to play, and include the: 

  • Athlete’s Current Symptoms 
  • Functional Graded Testing: this is testing of a physical nature to see if the concussion symptoms can be recreated 
  • Mental Graded Testing: tests the mental capabilities of the athlete; this requires a pre-season, baseline testing and further testing during the course of the year as injuries occur

Get Tested “Dr. Stan” Sczecienski is dedicated to the health of young adults. He aims to ensure that every athlete is prepared to safely participate in their given sport with good outcomes, for today and tomorrow. Under his direction, concussion testing is available at the Garden City Hospital Center for Sports and Family Medicine (located at 35600 Central City Parkway in Westland) and at local schools. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stan, call 734-261-3778.