Concussion Treatment at St Lukes Sports Medicine Program
Sports Medicine Program at St. Luke's Specializes in Comprehensive Concussion Treatment
Sports Performance Training Helps Reduce the Likelihood of Injury
Bethlehem, PA. (1/8/2013) – If Philadelphia Eagle Michael Vick were treated at St. Luke's University Health Network, he would be in good hands. So would the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ryan Clark. So would the millions of weekend warriors, student athletes, youth athletes and elite athletes who suffer concussions every year. That's right, ever year approximately 3.8 million Americans suffer concussions in sports and recreation.
“No matter what sport or whose uniform, St. Luke's trains and cares for athletes like no one else,” says Kevin Waninger, MD, MS, St. Luke's Primary Care Sports Medicine. “From the pros to the Joes, we offer athletes of any age a comprehensive concussion recovery program to get them back into their sport or activity as quickly and as successfully as possible.”
St. Luke's Sports Concussion Network & Testing Program provides a comprehensive concussion management program for athletes or individuals who are at risk for head injury. The program provides services including diagnosis, treatment, research and education, baseline neurocognitive testing and postural and balance assessments. The program also includes support for baseline examinations that each athlete takes prior to the athletic season called ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). ImPACT evaluates and documents multiple aspects of neurocognitive functioning, including:
- Brain processing speed
- Reaction time
- Post-concussive symptoms
Gold Standard for Helping those at Risk for Head Injury
“Student athletes have access to ImPACT testing, either on-site at their school or at St. Luke's,” says Dr. Waninger. “ImPACT is the first and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system, and is the gold standard of testing across the MLS, NFL, NHL and other professional and collegiate sports. If a person is believed to have suffered a concussion or head injury during play, the exam is taken post-injury and the data is compared to the baseline (initial) test. This information is then used as a tool to assist in determining the extent of the injury, monitoring recovery and in making safe return to play decisions.”
St. Luke's takes a team approach when treating concussions and other sports injuries. Athletes at all levels, athletic trainers, coaches, athletic staff and parents have access to physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, athletic trainers and education specialists. St. Luke's concussion specialists provide education throughout the greater Lehigh Valley area on the signs and symptoms of concussions. Programs for athletic trainers, coaches, student athletes and their parents cover how to prevent head injuries and what they can do in the event of a concussion.
Specialized Sports Performance Training
St. Luke's also offers specialized sports performance training for athletes. Most sports training programs emphasize only those physical qualities needed to perform a sport-specific skill such as throwing a ball, swinging a bat or making a jump shot. “St. Luke's Sports Performance Training takes it several steps further by applying a comprehensive approach to preparing athletes for competition by helping them develop appropriate strength and power, movement skills, which include acceleration, speed, agility, balance and coordination; mobility; flexibility; and energy systems suitable for competition,” says John F. Graham, MS, HFS, CSCS*D, RSCC*D, FNSCA, director of Sports & Human Performance, St. Luke's University Health Network.
St. Luke's Sports Performance Training also addresses the fact that sports occur in a chaotic and unstable environment. “We prepare the athlete for these conditions,” Graham says, “and we help reduce the likelihood of injury, including concussions.”
Tune into Channel 69 at 6:30 pm on Sunday, January 20 to view “The Peak” – to see a true story of St. Luke's Sports Concussion Network & Testing Program successfully managing a young local athlete's concussion.
For feature story ideas about local athletes who have suffered concussions, please call Denise Rader at 484-526-4104.
For more information, see the recent news story on NBC News.
Denise E. Rader
Director, Network Media Relations
St. Luke's University Health Network