Shift Concussion Management Program

Shift Concussion Management and its network of Health Providers offer accessible, individualized and effective concussion management strategies to individuals of all ages suffering from concussion and mild traumatic brain injury.

Concussion Rehabilitation

Recovering from a concussion can be difficult and frustrating time. At Shift, we understand that each athlete is affected differently and as such, requires individualized care. Management strategies are used to limit the amount of impairment as well as expedite recovery as much as possible.

Examples include:
  • Individualized resting strategies and home instruction
  • Specific recommendations around employment/ academic demands
  • Manual therapy for associated complaints (neck pain, whiplash, etc.)
  • Screening and referral for Vision Therapy if required
  • Balance, Coordination and Vestibular-Based Rehabilitation
  • Physical exertion testing and exercise plans for return-to-sport


Recovery Timeframes

Symptoms duration and post injury recovery is highly individual and may be influenced by various factors such as previous concussive episodes, and severity and/or number of symptoms experienced.

Most concussions resolve within a short timeframe, but some may persist up to a month or longer (especially in children and adolescents). If your symptoms do not improve or linger beyond 3 weeks, make sure you are assessed and/or re-assessed by a qualified Health Provider. There may be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed or you may need to alter your current management strategy in some way.

It is normal to feel frustrated, sad or angry during your recovery because you cannot return to sports, recreational or academic activities right away. It is better to miss a few games, than an entire season.

Keys to Recovery

After a sports concussion physical and mental (e.g. cognitive) rest are keys to recovery, says Dr. William P. Meehan, which means no video games, homework, or other activities that tax the brain and force it to work extra hard.

More information from momsTeam can be found here.

Deciding to Return

When it is safe for a youth or high school athlete to return to play contact or collision sports after symptoms of concussion clear depends on many factors, says Dr. William Meehan, including the athlete’s age, baseline test data, time symptoms take to clear and severity, and concussion history. Once symptom free, it is recommended that each athlete undergo a graduated program of exercise testing. Similar to weight training, athletes recovering from a concussion should not skip to 100% exertion from 0% in a short time frame. Physical exertion testing is important not only for physical re-conditioning, but to guard against symptom relapse and help prevent premature return-to-sport. It is well known that concussive symptoms can be aggravated with exercise and even though you may feel well, running, jumping, or stick handling are things that may cause your symptoms return.

The return-to-play process is gradual. The first stage typically involves light cycling or jogging to elevate your heart rate a moderate amount. If no symptoms are aggravated either during or for 24 hours after this exercise session, you may progress to a more difficult workout routine. Eventually you may advance to on-field or on-ice practice and finally full game play (with proper medical clearance). The whole process could take anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks depending on your specific situation or the stipulations of your governing sport organization. At any time if your symptoms return, you must return to a lower level exertion (or modified activities) depending on the advice of your health professional.

Please note: The above list is not exhaustive nor does having one or more of these symptoms mean that someone has a concussion. It is merely a guide to possible concussive symptoms. It is important to seek medical attention.

Be mindful and remember that if you suspect a head injury/concussion that you should consult a medical professional, preferably one that has experience with concussions and return-to-play.