What is Sport Related Concussion?

Sport related concussion (SRC) is defined quite broadly as a mild traumatic brain injury as a result of a direct blow to the head, neck, face or elsewhere on the body with impulse force referral to the brain. It is commonly referred to as a “head” or “brain” injury, however there is evidence to support the involvement of the upper cervical spine either coexisting with a head injury or in the abscence of a head injury. The potential whiplash forces involved in SRC can result in disruption to the motor control, postural and vestibular-ocular systems in the upper cervical spine resulting in symptoms commonly associated with SRC including neck pain, headache, dizziness, vertigo, unsteadiness, blurred vision.

Why Choose the Shannon Clinic for your Concussion/Whiplash Assessment?

NIck together with sports medicine physicians and physiotherapists who are experts in the field of SRC are currently writing a journal paper outlining the role the upper cervical spine plays in concussion and the role allied health including chiropractors play in the assessment and management of SRC. Furthermore, Nick is a member of, and helped to establish a panel of international experts from a variety of health disciplines who are currently developing the first chiropractic SRC concensus statement. Additionally, Nick has experience working with concussed athletes and whiplash patients.

The Shannon Clinic uses a SRC cervical spine assessment protocol that was formulated by Nick following the literature review for their paper This protocol can be used in athletes and patients with post concussion symptoms, persistent concussion symptoms and those who have suffered a whiplash injury to the cervical spine.

The Shannon Clinic Concussion/Whiplash Assessment Protocol

The comprehensive asessment protocol is based on the best current evidence and examines;

Cervical spine (potentially causing neck pain and headaches);

  • Range of motion
  • Strength
  • Motor control

Vestibular-ocular (potentially causing balance difficulties and blurred vision)

  • Gaze stability
  • Saccadic eye movemnt (fast eye movements)
  • Smooth pursuits (slow eye movements)
  • Balance assessment (static and dynamic)

Gait analysis (potentially causing unsteadiness and a slower, protected gait)

Concussion/Whiplash Treatment Options

Following the assessment, an individual treatment program can then be developed to target the problems identified in the examination. This may include referral to other concussion expert practitioners and should occur in collaboration with your managing clinician as the best outcomes in SRC are acheived through a multidisciplinary team care approach.

For more information or to book an assessment today you can either call the Shannon Clinic, book online and email us. For more SRC, sports nutrition and sports and exercise medicine related information be sure to check out our blog, Facebook and Instagram posts.