Concussion Program

An x-ray style graphic demonstrating concussion

A concussion is a brain injury sustained from a hit to the head, neck, face or body that may cause immediate and long-term problems. The force of the impact to the body causes the head and brain to shake back and forth. Although they range from mild to severe, they're all serious injuries that can harm the way the brain works.

Providence Sports Medicine offers convenient access to sports medicine experts who can help you. Through accurate diagnosis, state-of-the-art treatment and individualized care, we can help you return to sports, work, school or everyday activities safely and completely.

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Emergency warning signs

Following an impact, an athlete may experience a variety of symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice:

  • Drowsiness, or cannot be awakened
  • Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • One pupil (black part in center of eye) is larger than the other
  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Difficulty recognizing people or places
  • Behavior or personality changes
Other concussion symptoms

Knowing the symptoms to look out for helps health care professionals prescribe more optimal treatments for the athlete’s return to play and activity plan. If pre-season cognitive testing was completed, this can be used as an additional tool for the health care expert.

  • Can’t recall events prior to, or after a hit or fall
  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Forgets an instruction; is confused
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Shows mood, behavior or personality changes; feeling down
  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness; double or blurry vision
  • Bothered by light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Confusion; concentration or memory problems

Treatment may include activity modifications, medications, supplements or referrals based on symptom areas experienced by the athlete.

Helpful tools
Seek medical attention right away

A health care professional can determine if a concussion occurred, how serious it is and when it is safe to return to sports.

When in doubt, hold them out!

Oregon law requires that any youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion must be removed from play or practice and must be cleared by a medical professional before returning to activity.

Do not return to play until a health care professional releases the athlete to return to activity

There is a greater risk of a second concussion or very serious injury if the athlete returns to activity before the brain is healed. More serious injuries can be extreme and can have lifelong effects. Refer to our Graduated Return to Play Protocol before returning to sport.