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Kevin Love NBA Finals Concussion

Kevin Love's NBA Finals Concussion

You’ve probably heard that Kevin Love sustained a concussion in game two of the NBA finals when he took an elbow to the head. Love has been trying to return ASAP, but the Cavs continue to have him in the concussion protocol.  What is the concussion protocol?

The NBA has its own guidelines for concussion management.  In the NBA, most colleges, and a lot of high schools- at least around here- most athletes undergo baseline testing pre-season that measures baseline brain function via cognitive and neurological assessment.  That way they can compare scores after a concussion to their baseline levels.

The NBA protocol states that a player must:

1)  Be without concussion related symptoms at rest

2)  Be evaluated by a physician

3)  Successfully complete the NBA return to participation exertion protocol which involves several steps of increasing exertion: from riding a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills, with the player needing to be symptom-free to move on to the next step

4)  Have a team MD discuss the return to play process and decision with the direction of the NBA concussion program with the final call coming from the team MD.  

If a player is not symptom free at a step, he stops until symptoms resolve and restarts at the previous step until able to pass all steps symptom free. Players are re-evaluated every 24 hours until they pass all steps.

Concussion symptoms are varied and encompass physical, cognitive, and emotional components as follows:

1)  Physical : headache, blurry vision, nausea/ vomiting, sensitivity to noise/light, dizziness, balance problems, feeling tired/ having no energy

2)  Thinking/remembering: difficulty thinking clearly, feeling slowed down, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering new information

3)  Emotional/ mood: irritability, sadness, more emotion, nervous/anxious

4)  Sleep: sleeping more or less than usual, difficulty falling asleep

The healthcare management side of concussions continues to evolve and PT is a big part of the rehab process. Concussions can result in mobility impairments in the cervical spine and surrounding musculature that can be improved with PT. If you have any other questions about concussions give Bridgetown Physical Therapy and Training Studio a call at 503-222-1955 or e-mail info@bridgetownpt.com to contact us.

Ali Theen, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Bridgetown Physical Therapy & Training Studio
P: 503-222-1955
F: 503-222-1485
E: info@bridgetownpt.com