Concussion management

With the recent retirement of another AFL player due to ongoing health issues as a result of multiple concussions sustained on the field, the topic of concussion diagnosis and ongoing management has again surfaced.

With the winter sports season looming, it is timely that allied health professionals who will be dealing with diagnosis and ongoing management of concussion are reminded about the latest information and recommendations.

It is also important to remember that concussion is not limited to elite sportspeople or high-level sports – it can be sustained in all levels of junior and community sport.

In February 2019, a number of peak sporting and allied health bodies released new guidelines about the diagnosis and treatment of concussion. This included the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), The Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP) and Sports Medicine Australia (SMA).

These guidelines can be found here and they are an invaluable resource to all sporting codes as it presents a unified response and agreed recommendations.

What is concussion?

In simple terms a concussion can occur through any physical contact that causes the brain to move within the skull. This can be as simple as heavy contact to the chest or side with no contact to the head.


Signs and symptoms of a concussion

On-field management at community level

Post-concussion management

Returning to activity or sport


Please visit the Concussion in Sport Australia website for more information.

Lifecare provide complete concussion management offering evidence-based concussion care to those impacted by, or at risk of concussion.

Physiotherapists can be an integral part of the concussion recovery process.

Assessment includes a battery of tests to address the potential causes of symptoms (both acute and chronic), which may be present following concussion.

These include assessment and treatment of the:

Education and advice regarding: