Groundbreaking research on concussions offered free: University of Calgary

Click to play video: 'Groundbreaking research on concussions available free online through University of Calgary'
Groundbreaking research on concussions available free online through University of Calgary
WATCH: With research evolving rapidly, a clinician scientist at the Faculty of Kinesiology Research Centre says a free online program offers best practices to anyone trying to help athletes and loved ones suffering from a concussion. Doug Vaessen has more. – Mar 7, 2024

New best practices — with tools to prevent, recognize, assess and treat concussions — as well as new return-to-sport strategies are now being offered free to anyone in an updated online program offered through the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Kathryn Schneider, associate professor and clinician scientist in the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, says it’s important to get new information to anyone who wants to learn about concussions and how best to treat athletes and loved ones.

“Research is continuing to evolve rapidly and that’s where it is so important to make sure recommendations are updated regularly.”

Click to play video: 'Concussion Awareness Week highlights the importance of proper diagnoses'
Concussion Awareness Week highlights the importance of proper diagnoses

Ben Binder Nord, a 16-year-old hockey player at Edge School, says he knows firsthand how valuable Schneider’s knowledge can be.

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He says he suffered a concussion after being hit twice in one game two years ago.

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“I got a blind-side hit and whiplash, hit my head really hard on the ice. I kept playing and noticed symptoms of a concussion: blurred vision and not really feeling into it.”

He says he lost a month of school and four months of hockey. For Binder Nord, it was a struggle at times.

“I’m a very social person. With a concussion, being away from everyone, it kind of made me depressed. It was the low point in my life.”

But after following protocols set out by Schneider, Binder Nord says he is better than ever.

“I think it helped me recover and I think I’m almost better now and haven’t been injured again since and my senses are heightened.”

Click to play video: 'Raising awareness about the impact of concussions'
Raising awareness about the impact of concussions

Schneider says it’s important to take it step by step and not push too hard.

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“The first step is returning to general activities of daily living, followed by aerobic exercises, followed by sport-specific training, again, away from risk.

“If there is any risk involved then all concussion-related symptoms and signs must be resolved and recommend clearance by a medical professional,” Schneider said.

The latest research from the Amsterdam International Consensus Statement has an important new practice, she said.

“There is quite a bit of strong evidence that supports the use of aerobic exercise as early as two days following concussion and that exercise should be done with only mild and brief symptom exacerbation and should be done in consultation with your healthcare professional.”

Schneider says the program will start Monday, March 11.

“Anyone can take this course,” she said. “We invite everyone … parents, coaches, players, sport officials, sport administrators, teachers, school administrators. We have new tools to help with recognition and assessment of concussion.”

Click to play video: 'Calgary researchers play large role in concussion research'
Calgary researchers play large role in concussion research

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