Concussion Testing & Treatment
The concussion experts at UC San Diego Health believe that every athlete with a suspected concussion deserves a comprehensive evaluation and customized plan of care.
We provide baseline testing as well as expert concussion diagnostics and treatment following a head injury to ensure that you can return to sport safely.
Why Seek Comprehensive Concussion Care?
When it comes to concussions, it’s better to play it safe and have your injury assessed by an experienced professional. Diagnosing a head injury on your own can be dangerous, especially since symptoms may not appear until later. Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Furthermore, what may appear to be a concussion may actually be a more serious head injury that involves brain damage or bleeding.
An untreated concussion can result in:
- Prolonged symptoms, delaying an athlete’s safe return to play
- Second impact syndrome, a condition that occurs when an athlete whose brain is still healing from a concussion returns too early to sport and sustains another blow to the head. This second blow can cause a sharp decline in an athlete’s mental state, usually resulting in permanent brain damage (and in some cases, death).
Children and teens are more prone to concussions and take longer to recover than adults.
If You Think You Have A Concussion
Anyone who is hit during sporting activity – in the head or somewhere else on the body – and does not feel "normal" in the head afterward should consider the possibility of concussion. Get evaluated immediately by a trained healthcare professional who is experienced in concussion treatment. Afterward, call our team for a comprehensive evaluation. The type of evaluation we perform is not offered in the emergency department or most physician's offices.
When you call to make an appointment, we will verify whether or not your insurance will cover a concussion evaluation. If you do not have insurance, cash prices apply.
Baseline Testing: Playing It Safe Before Injury Occurs
Individual athletes and groups or teams can receive baseline testing either in our clinic or a sports facility.
A baseline test helps to establish your “normal” responses in things like balance, memory, and cognition. This is often done before the season starts so if a head injury occurs, our experts can evaluate you based on your individual "normal."
Our baseline testing can be individualized (based on your level of athletics) and usually takes up to 45 minutes to complete. We offer ImPACT testing as part of our baseline testing procedures.
Baseline testing is not covered by insurance. Group or team prices may be negotiated.
Evaluation & Treatment for a Sports-Related Concussion
We care for athletes of all levels and ages, including high school, college, club, recreational, and professional/elite.
At your initial visit, you will meet sports medicine specialists who are skilled in evaluating sports concussions following a head injury. You'll receive a diagnosis, education about your injury and a recovery plan. If needed, a more comprehensive evaluation will be recommended.
Using industry-standard tests, a sports medicine physician and staff athletic trainer will assess symptoms such as orientation, memory, concentration, balance, neurocognition and vestibular status.
Depending on your injury and symptoms, your treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- Speech and language therapy
- Vestibular therapy
- Heart-rate-based exercise program
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Osteopathic manual medicine
- Personalized return-to-learn action plan
- Personalized return-to-play action plan
UC San Diego Health doctors trained in sports medicine, rehabilitation, neurology, neurosurgery, and neuropsychiatry comprehensively diagnose and treat concussion and head injuries.