With June being Brain Injury Awareness Month across Canada, we’re taking a look at a useful new tool developed for concussion recovery. Concussions are a serious matter often with long term effects, but still quite misunderstood.
Consider the story of Kathleen McGinn. Twenty years ago she suffered two concussions while playing rugby. Even today, she still experiences headaches and sensitivity to light.
“My recovery from the concussion was difficult, and I didn’t really get good care,” she says. “If I had better care, I feel like I wouldn’t have some of the issues I have now.”
Kathleen is not alone. Approximately 225,000 Canadians suffer from concussions each year. Many turn to ‘Dr. Google’ or false cures in the hopes of a quick and easy recovery. These include electrolyte drinks, cod liver oil, protein supplements, and other remedies. But home remedies are not really the best answer.
“We have a serious problem with concussion recovery in this country,” McGinn adds. “There isn’t a consensus on management. Patients are really still in the dark.”
McGinn is now the executive director of EMPWR Foundation, an organization created to change the way concussions are treated. The Foundation has created a toolkit with 15 years of clinical experience and research to help patients, athletes, parents, and medical professionals through the recovery process. The toolkits include guides that help concussion patients return to physical activity as well as their school, work, and social lives.
EMPWR’s goal is to help individuals recover from their concussion under the care of medical professionals. Likewise, they want to help these professionals get better trained in concussion management. Both patients and clinicians can download and review EMPWR’s toolkits from the Foundation’s website.
This is another positive step towards changing the way we treat concussion recovery and helping sufferers get back to a more normal life.
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