Evidence-Based Concussion Program Helps Students Safely Return to Sports

Munson Healthcare offers an evidence-based concussion treatment program for student athletes with concussions. The Concussion Recognition and Neurological Intervention, United Management, or CRANIUM, program helps student athletes safely return to education and sports activities.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Athletes of all skill levels may suffer from a concussion at some point in their life and experience symptoms such as:

  • Blurry vision

  • Confusion

  • Depression

  • Irritability

  • Headaches

  • Memory changes

  • Nausea

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Sleeping too much or too little

While some concussion symptoms are immediately apparent, others take days or weeks to become noticeable. As a regional provider of an advanced concussion treatment program, we are skilled in the treatment of any concussion injury.

Importance of Managing Youth Concussions

Youth athletes who are suspected of having a concussion should be immediately taken out of sporting activities and not allowed back until they have been cleared by medical professionals. They should be completely free of symptoms and in school full time before being cleared to play sports again.

Because frontal lobes of the human brain continue to develop until age 25, it is vital to manage youth concussions conservatively. The CRANIUM program allows us to do so and ensures the best neurological development and outcomes.

The Five Stages of CRANIUM

The CRANIUM program involves five stages and provides the most evidence-based approach to standardizing concussion care. From baseline screenings to sideline injury assessment by our Munson Healthcare sports medicine team members to post-concussion testing, our progressive program covers every aspect of concussion rehabilitation. The five stages of CRANIUM include:

  1. Immediately following a concussion, students will refrain from physical or cognitive activities. During this initial stage, they will minimize their stimulation and limit their use of television, cell phones, and video games.

  2. Light cardiovascular exercise with 15 to 20 minutes of biking or treadmill used at less than 70 percent of heart rate maximum.

  3. Students participate in 45 minutes of a sport-specific activity with no head contact at 80 percent of heart rate. Students under 13 must be symptom free for 72 hours to move to the next stage.

  4. One hour of non-contact training drills and resistance training at 90 percent of heart rate.

  5. A comprehensive Sports Concussion Assessment Tool includes a series of tests to evaluate whether the athlete is ready to return to the field:

    • 3rd Edition (SCAT-3)

    • Vestibular ocular motor screen (VOMS)

    • Balke treadmill

    • ImPACT®, if available (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test)

If the student remains symptom free after a full practice, he or she is released to return to competition.

Learn More

For more information about our concussion rehabilitation program through our physical therapy services, please contact one of our team members at a convenient location near you.

Service Locations

Empire Community Health Center 9975 West Ottawa Ave. Empire, MI 49630 Get Directions
Grayling Community Health Center 1250 E. Michigan Ave. Grayling, MI 49738 Get Directions
Manistee Community Health Center 1345 E. Parkdale Ave. Manistee, MI 49660 Get Directions
Mary Free Bed at Munson Healthcare - Beaver Island 37304 Kings Hwy. Beaver Island, MI 49782 231-547-8630 231-547-8078 Get Directions
Mary Free Bed at Munson Healthcare - Cadillac 704 Oak St., Ste.100 Cadillac, MI 49601 231-876-7443 231-876-6460 Get Directions
Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center - Chums Corner 4025 Chums Village Dr., Ste. E Traverse City, MI 49685 231-252-3433 231-252-3535 Get Directions
Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center - Long Lake 5191 Rosewood Dr. Traverse City, MI 49685 231-946-1979 231-946-1984 Get Directions
Munson Outpatient Services - Benzonia 6227 Frankfort Hwy. Benzonia, MI 49616 Get Directions
Munson Outpatient Services - Interlochen 1975 Stirling Dr. Interlochen, MI 49643 Get Directions
OMH Orthopedic & Rehab Center 2147 Professional Dr. Gaylord, MI 49735 Get Directions
Prudenville Community Health Center 2585 W. Houghton Lake Dr. Prudenville, MI 48651 989-366-2900 Get Directions