Sport-related traumatic brain injury, concussion, is an important public health concern and is often labelled as a ‘silent epidemic’. Estimates suggest that up to 300,000 sport-related concussions occur annually in Australia.
From 2003 to 2011 the number of hospitalisations for sport-related concussions increased by 60.5%. However, many sport-related concussions are unrecognised and unreported, even in professional sport. Those sports that involve contact and/or collisions, such as Boxing, AFL, Rugby League and Union, Ice Hockey, Soccer, and Martial Arts, as well as high-velocity sports such as Cycling, Motor Racing, Equestrian Sports, Skiing and Skating, are all associated with an increased risk of concussion.
Most professional sporting organisations and individual clubs have a well-defined concussion policy. Indeed, many clubs now have a dedicated Concussion Officer to facilitate the return to play of injured athletes. At the Melbourne Physiotherapy Concussion Clinic, we are constantly monitoring the latest practices and policies from an extensive range of professional sports. This allows us to quickly and effectively implement the latest knowledge into our practice.