Home » Health & Safety Channel » "Stepwise" Return to Play Recommended For Athletes with Concussions

"Stepwise" Return to Play Recommended For Athletes with Concussions

The Flash plugin has not been detected. Please click here to download Flash

If an athlete has been sidelined by a concussion for several weeks or longer, Dr. Robert Cantu recommends that he follow a "stepwise" approach to return to play:

  1. No activity, complete rest (for youth athletes, complete rest includes cognitive rest, i.e. no school, homework, video games, Internet or text messaging). Once an athlete is completely symptom free, proceed to step 2;

  2. Light aerobic exercise such as walking or stationary cycling, no resistance training;

  3. Sport specific training (i.e. skating in hockey, running in soccer);

  4. Non-contact training drills;

  5. Full contact training, ideally only after clearance by a medical doctor;

  6. Game play.

  7. If any post-concussion symptoms reoccur, drop back to previous asymptomatic level and try to progress again after 24 hours.