Five Steps Players Must Take Post-Concussion


By Corey Long, FNF Coaches Contributing Writer

Here are five steps every players must pass after suffering a concussion before returning to the field on game day.

  1. Light aerobic exercise: The goal is only to increase the athlete’s heart rate. Exercise time is 5-10 minutes and includes exercise bike, walking or light jogging – absolutely no weight lifting, jumping or hard running.
  2. Moderate exercise: The goal is to limit body and head movement. Exercise time is reduced from a typical routine. Activities include moderate jogging, brief running, moderate-intensity stationary biking and moderate-intensity weight lifting.
  3. Noncontact exercise: The goal is more intensity but without contact. Time should be close to the athlete’s typical exercise routine, and activities can include running; high-intensity stationary biking; the player’s regular weight-lifting routine; and noncontact, sport-specific drills. This stage may add some cognitive component to practice in addition to the aerobic and movement components introduced in steps 1 and 2.
  4. Resume practice: The goal of this step is to reintegrate in full-contact practice.
  5. Return to play: The goal of this final step is to return to competition.