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STEVE WOLFE/SEEDS OF WELLNESS: Top care available for local athletes

on August 27, 2013 10:50 AM

Along with the anticipation of a change in the weather comes the excitement of the fall sports season for universities, colleges and high schools across the nation.

In our own backyard, many young athletes are already in practice for Friday night and Saturday gridiron games hoping to post a winning season and trip to the playoffs — the reward for training, conditioning and playing with aches and pains.

Along with the bumps and bruises of contact sports come more serious injuries — namely concussions — that have received a lot of attention from coaches and physicians in recent years. News stories are plentiful about athletes at the professional and college level that experience concussions and are sidelined.

Years ago, players were given smelling salts and sent back onto the playing field. But things have changed. The prevalence of concussions nationally is alarming — approximately 4 to 5 million concussions occur annually among athletes, with increases emerging among middle school athletes (1).

Almost a third of all athletes have had one concussion and 20 percent have endured multiple concussions (2).

The fact that concussions are now consistently described as a type of traumatic brain injury has brought more attention to prevention, diagnosis and treatment approaches both on the field and at medical facilities.

Even the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted a new law pertaining to concussion injuries by passing the “Safety in Youth Sports Act” in 2012 and last summer we held a sports injury seminar with Indiana University of Pennsylvania to share the most current information.

The good news is that if area student-athletes sustain a concussion, they are in good hands.

The team of specialists at the Human Motion Institute — including the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Indiana Total Therapy, and Dr. Eric Bohn, IRMC’s new sports medicine primary care physician, have expert training as well as extensive experience in sports concussion management.

Dr. Bohn holds a specific designation as a credentialed consultant for the ImPACT concussion program. ImPACT is the most widely used and most scientifically validated computerized testing program in the country (3) (used in the NFL, NHL and MLB) and this service is offered at the HMI and at Indiana Total Therapy locations.

This summer, the HMI team developed a new plan of treatment for student-athletes so they can receive prompt diagnosis and care following a concussion. The providers will make return-to-play decisions when it is safe for the athlete and are leading the way in applying the latest tools and techniques.

So for local student-athletes, “Local Care, World Class Results” truly means an exceptional level of care from highly trained medical providers. Your children are worth it.

Information and statistics in the article was provided by:

(1) ImPACT Applications, Inc., www.impacttest.com

(2) American Association of Neurological Surgeons, www.aans.org

(3) ImPACT Applications, Inc., www.impacttest.com

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