As we continue with our in depth look at concussion within sport, we find out what the process is to return to play following concussion. Images used are courtesy of the RFU.
This above image is the RFU’s protocol for all ages in their return to play after a concussion policy.
For an adult, they will require 2 weeks of complete rest; this includes time off work, minimal staring at screens, for example, phones or laptops and plenty of sleep. If at any point during the two weeks of rest any sort of symptom reappears then they will have to restart their 2 weeks of rest.
After this 2-week period they will then need to be cleared by a healthcare professional. This is anyone from a physiotherapist, sports therapist or a doctor.
For U19’s and below they will also need two weeks of complete rest and be symptom free but as their brains are more fragile it is recommended that a doctor clears them to start their gradual return to play (GRTP).
The above image is the outlined gradual return to play. An adult will spend around 24 hours per stage and if at any stage their symptoms return then they will need to restart. An U19 and below player would need to spend 48 hours per stage just to make sure they are fully recovered as their brains are still developing.
Once they have completed their GRTP then they will need to be cleared by a Doctor to make sure they are fully recovered. After being cleared they are then allowed to return to play.