Concussion testing hits area high schools
More and more each day is being learned about sports-related concussions. This knowledge is leading to changes across all sports, and thankfully is finding its way to the high school level.
Football has seen the most change — improved helmets, tweaks to the amount of contact allowed in practice, and more rules governing tackling — and probably rightly so considering the amount of contact that is involved in the sport.
But it’s not just limited to football. Most sports are violent. Even the smallest of hits be it from a ball, a hand, a fall to the ground or court could trigger a concussion.
Unfortunately, even with all of the strides made, concussions are still a part of the game and that’s when ProPT Physical Therapy and ImPACT come in. ProPT is providing ImPACT testing to Tulare County high schools to make sure that as many athletes are coming back from concussions as quickly — but also as safely — as possible.
Leading the county effort are ProPT owners Dr. Ronnie Eynaud and Dr. Richard Rose, who are providing the state-of-the-art technology in helping to diagnose the impacts of concussions. ImPACT stands for immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing. The testing, which is a web-based program first developed in 1997, is now used by the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NHL, the military and by 1,300 colleges and 6,000 high schools throughout the nation.
The testing is being used or will soon be at nine county high schools, including Porterville, Granite Hills and Lindsay. ImPACT is not free, but Eynaud has said ProPT will provide the testing to every high school for the next four years for free. Dick’s Sporting Goods is covering the cost for this year. The national sporting goods retailer has committed to providing testing for more than 1 million U.S. athletes.
The knowledge gained by these efforts in invaluable. Funding it moving forward is going to be a difficult as more and more high schools come on line across the nation. Perhaps a portion of the gate at each high school contest could be set aside and used to offset some of the costs?