Sports Concussions & Return to Play

Concussion is a potentially serious condition in athletes at all levels of competition. New laws in Minnesota and surrounding states now require athletes in youth and high school athletic programs who have suffered a concussion to be evaluated by a health care professional before returning to sports participation.

As you probably already know, chiropractors are primary care physicians in the state of Minnesota and are eligible to diagnose concussions; however, with the new rules in place, all physicians must show competency when releasing an athlete to return to play. Dr. Gray is an eligible physician in the field of concussion management. Continuing education is now required on a biannual term – she will need to complete the refresher course every other year to stay current in this field.

When it comes to concussion, the old rules are out – for example, diagnosing a concussion in 2008 during a sporting event meant that the athlete possibly could return to play. However, with the new rules, once the 15 point screen is done after a suspected concussion on the playing field, the athlete can no longer return to play if s/he does not pass this test. In addition, an athlete must progress through 5 stages of recovery, each lasting a minimum of 24 hours, before return-to-play can be issued.

Feel free to contact Dr. Gray if you have a child who needs a diagnosis of a concussion or an evaluation with a written return-to-play release.