Central Athletes to Be Pre-Tested for Concussions

Central Athletes to Be Pre-Tested for Concussions

Athletes at Central High and Central Private School will be pre-tested later this month as part of a program to make sure athletes with head injuries do not return to the playing field prematurely.

Central Physical Therapy, 13111 Hooper Road, which is Louisiana’s only fully certified concussion health center, is performing the tests free of charge in order to help prevent athletes from experiencing life-threatening or disabling head injuries.

By testing the athletes before the season begins, Central Physical Therapy will have a baseline measurement which can be compared to testing after an athlete is suspected of having a head injury. This testing is also used to measure recovery before the athlete can be cleared to play.

Once an athlete has had a concussion, a second concussion can be life threatening

What many people in Central do not know is that this testing is at a level that is higher than many college teams. And it is here in Central!

Central PT has advanced technology which tests balance and cognition. It also insures that, after a concussion, the athlete cannot successfully defeat the tests.

Richard O’Quinn, PT, of Central Physical Therapy is the father of three boys who played football.  He serves on the sports medical staff of Central Private School.  He said he is excited about the concussion program and how it can make informed recommendations on safe return-to-play time frames or help parents, coaches and doctors decide whether or not their child should return to the playing field.

Central PT owners Helen Balzi and Tom Coplin said fighting the adverse effects of concussions is one of their passions. Coplin said, “Too often, athletes return to the playing field when they still have a neurological deficit. We are protecting these kids.”

Central Physical Therapy offers traditional physical therapy services, treating joint, skeletal, and muscular problems.  “What really sets us apart is personal one-on-one treatment.  Helen or one of our therapists is not only in the room with you but is hands-on helping your body move the way it is supposed to.  To get your range of motion back, you need someone there with you hands-on,” Coplin said.

Each staff member is fully qualified to provide all physical therapy services, but each one also has areas of specialty.

For patients, the first visit includes a comprehensive physical therapy evaluation and diagnosis.  Then Central PT sets up an individualized program for that patient.  The goal is to get the person functional again.  The plan includes setting priorities, so that the most important problems are solved first.

Concussion pre-testing will occur at each school, and coaches will inform students when that will occur.

Patients who want more information on Central Physical Therapy or who want to set up an appointment should call 225-261-7094.

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