What is baseline testing?
Baseline testing is the practice of having an individual (especially an athlete) complete a variety of concussion assessment tools before participating in their sport.
This usually occurs before the start of a season in order to get baseline or “pre-injury” measurements. In the event of a suspected concussion, assessment is done again and these post-injury measurements are compared to the baseline measurements.
The goal of this testing is to identify cognitive differences in the athlete before and after the injury.
For more information, check out Parachute Canada’s Baseline Testing Education Sheet.
What is a concussion?
A concussion can be simply defined as a disruption in neurological functioning following a significant impact to the head or elsewhere on the body.
This causes a biochemical imbalance within brain cells as well as decreased blood flow and temporary energy deficits within the brain.
Following a suspected concussion, a player should be immediately removed from play, assessed and placed on complete rest in order to recover from the energy deficit.
Studies have shown that any activity, both mental and physical, in the immediate days following concussion can delay the process of recovery and should be avoided until the athlete is completely symptom free.