Research and teaching
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a commonly occurring sport injury and the majority of individuals who sustain a sport-related concussion recover in 7-10 days, however up to 30% of individuals may have persistent symptoms, many of whom are children. The focus of my research program is evaluation of the cervical spine and vestibular systems and their relationship with concussive risk, persistent symptoms following a concussion and rehabilitative strategies. Due to my clinical expertise developed over the preceeding 15 years of practice as a physiotherapist, I was able to complete a randomized control trial evaluating a combination of cervical and vestibular rehabilitation and found that a greater proportion of individuals who were treated with this form of treatment were medically cleared to return to sport within eight weeks. This work has influenced a change in the treatment of sport related concussion, as evidenced on the recently published Consensus statement on concussion in sport, and plans for a larger scale trial to better understand optimal forms of treatment is currently underway. We have also found that healthy youth ice hockey players with symptoms of dizziness, neck pain and headaches at the beginning of the season were 1.5-3.1 times more likely to suffer a concussion during the following season of play. We are currently evaluating clinical tests to further understand this relationship between these symptoms and concussion risk. A better understanding of concussion risk factors, symptoms, clinical tests and treatment strategies will provide a greater understanding of injury prevention and treatment strategies in individuals at risk of or who have suffered an mTBI.