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‘Baseline testing’ the latest in concussion treatment

Flickr user Stuart Seeger

Concussion research has been in the news lately, and health professionals in the Grand Traverse Bay Area said they’re looking to find better treatment plans.

Health care communities in conjunction with schools are collecting data on athletes’ ‘baseline abilities’ which in the event of an injury they said could have an impact on an athlete's recovery.

Joshua Thorington is the senior specialist of musculoskeletal conditions at Munson Community Health Center. He said having comparison data helps create a treatment plan if an injury occurs.   

“It gets a baseline of some cognitive abilities, balance abilities, neck range of motion, memory, attention, and it's used to when the concussion does happen in the field of play we can compare their baseline abilities to their current abilities when a concussion does happen”

Justin Thorington is the Athletic Director at Kalkaska High School. He said having baseline measurements eliminates the guesswork which can make a big difference in the recovery of the athlete.

“I’ve personally saw the direct effects of a concussion that wasn't treated properly. It was a middle school student who had gotten a concussion during youth football. It wasn't properly treated or taken seriously and this particular student's life will be changed forever. He has seizures in class and this is a result of a concussion”.

Thorington said he wouldn't be surprised if the Michigan High School Athletic Association soon requires all student athletes to undergo baseline testing.