Pre-Season Concussion Baseline Testing Importance

Concussion Baseline Testing: What Is It and Why Should We Do It?


Concussion Baseline Testing Austin, TX Physical Therapist


Football can argueably be called the lifeblood of Texas in the fall. As such we highly recommend that all athletes in Austin should get baseline testing should be done during pre-season. Ideally, it should take place prior to practice. Testing will be performed by a trained health care professional, such as a physical therapist who specializes in concussion management, or a trained athletic trainer. The purpose is to assess the athlete’s brain and balance function prior to injury. The information and scores gathered from baseline testing can later be used as a comparison if there is a suspected concussion. It can also help guide safe return to school and return to sport during rehabilitation. The assessment includes tests for learning, memory, concentration, and balance. It is important for the health care professional to be made aware of and note any history of prior concussion.


The ImPACT™ test is the most widely used and research validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT™ testing is a baseline screening tool that can be used prior to the start of the season and if there is a suspected concussion. It is a computerized nuerocognitive tool that will assess for attention span, working memory, attention time, response variability, problem solving, and reaction time. It will generate a score that will assist a licensed healthcare provider in evaluating the athlete for a suspected concussion and managing treatment. It is important to remember ImPACT™ testing is one tool used to assist the healthcare team in properly identifying concussion and tracking recovery, but it does not diagnose concussion and does not act as a substitute for medical evaluation and treatment.


Consider these steps prior to the start of the season:

Step 1: Baseline testing (pre-season) and injury prevention/detection education

Step 2: Concussion is suspected- remove immediately and perform sideline assessment

Step 3: Post-injury testing and follow up evaluation

Step 4: Medical treatment team develops plan

Step 5: Prepare athlete for return to non-contact play

Step 6: Determine if athlete is safe for return to play


If you or your organization are interested in baseline testing contact Great Hills ENT and The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin to schedule or speak with us about concussion baseline screening and concussion treatment. If you are outside the Austin Metro Area you can locate an ImPACT™ trained professional by clicking here.

The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin specializes in hearing  related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders.  Currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin is the hearing and balance division of Great Hills ENT and serves the greater Austin area including the Arboretum, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, tinnitus, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders