Concussion Management

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.”

Many concussions occur without blacking out or being knocked unconscious. The severity of the injury depends on many factors and is not known until symptoms resolve and brain function is back to normal. Concussions are not created equally and like all injuries, should be evaluated by your Club’s medical staff.

Common Concussion Symptoms

A number of concussion symptoms may be experienced which may not show up for several hours or days afterwards. They include:

  • Balance problems
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering / recalling information
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Dizziness
  • Double / blurry / fuzzy vision
  • Feeling more emotional
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of energy, feeling tired
  • Nausea and / or vomiting
  • Nervousness / anxiety
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Slowed reaction
  • Sleep disturbances (sleeping more or less)
  • Symptoms may worsen with physical or mental exertion (e.g., lifting, computer use, reading).

If you think you have / had a concussion

  • Immediately report any concussion related symptoms you may be experiencing to your athletic trainer or team physician. Never ignore any symptoms no matter how mild they appear. If you don’t “feel right” or “feel yourself” after sustaining any type of trauma to your head / body, please inform your athletic trainer or team physician immediately to ensure you receive the proper medical care.
  • Help protect your teammates.  If you think a teammate may have sustained a concussion or is experiencing concussion related symptoms, please encourage him to report the incident immediately to the Club’s medical staff. Making sure your teammates report any symptoms they may be experiencing can help save their careers, and more importantly, their lives.
  • Contact the PHPA Hockey Operations department at 1-800-565-0716 for more information regarding concussion awareness, management and prevention.

Your brain is the most vital organ in your body.  Practicing or playing while still experiencing symptoms can prolong the time it takes to recover and return to play.

While “playing through” other injuries may be tolerable and medically acceptable, “playing through” a concussion can lead to further injury and even death.  Repetitive brain injury, when not managed promptly and properly, may cause permanent damage to your brain. Not reporting your symptoms can seriously affect the quality of your life in the future.