Example Of The 5 Stage Process

A health care provider trained in diagnosing and treating concussions can help prescribe an individualized Return to Play Protocol. This can be a concussion specialist such as those at Fairfax Family Practice Comprehensive Concussion Clinic.  Here are examples of the 5 Stage process:

Stage 1-

  • Exercise in quiet area (treatment rooms recommended);
  • No impact activities
  • Balance and vestibular treatment by specialist
  • Limit head movement / position change
  • Limit concentration activities
  • Symptom free cardiovascular progression.

Stage 2-

  • Exercise in gym areas recommended
  • Use various exercise equipment
  • Allow some positional changes and head movement
  • Low level concentration activities (counting repetitions)
  • symptom free cardiovascular progression.

Stage 3-

  • Any environment ok for exercise (indoor, outdoor)
  • Integrate strength, conditioning, and balance/proprioceptive exercise
  • Can incorporate concentration challenges (counting exercises, MRS equipment/ visual games)

Stage 4-

  • Continue to avoid contact activity, but resume aggressive training in all environments

Stage 5-

  • Initiate contact activities as appropriate to sport activity
  • Full exertion activities for sport activities

Return to Play

​Whether it’s the football field, the basketball court, the hockey rink, or any other arena, sports-related concussions continue to be a focus of concern for athletes, coaches, and parents.

Returning to sport should include a step wise progression.  Allow one of our concussion experts guide you through this process and set up a plan that best fits you.