Vocabulary and Abbreviations

Baseline Testing “refers to the practice of having an athlete complete certain concussion assessment tools/tests prior to sports participation to provide baseline measurements that can be compared to post-injury values in the event of a suspected concussion” (Parachute Statement on Baseline Testing).

Cervicogenic headache describes a headache that results from a problem in the neck near the base of the skull.

Child/adolescent refers to the general population group for this guideline document in which:

  • ages 5-12 are referred to as “children;” or “a child”
  • ages 13-18 are referred to as “adolescents” or “an adolescent”

Comorbidity refers to a disease, condition or disorder that a patient may have at the same time as a primary disease. Comorbid diseases may affect the symptoms of the primary disease.

Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) that is induced by biomechanical forces which results in the impairment of neurological function.

CT (computed tomography) is an imaging technology that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections (slices) of the body.

Differential diagnosis is a process of elimination to help identify or rule out the presence of a disease where many alternatives are possible.

Encephalopathy is a general term that means brain disease, damage, or malfunction.

Etiology is the cause or origin of a disease.

Healthcare professional is a person who is a member of a regulated college. Recommended experience/training of healthcare professionals treating patients for concussion symptoms should include:

  • Training involving direct patient care/contact and knowledge of concussion/mild traumatic brain injury and its biopsychosocial effects;
  • Experience in concussion management with a high volume of patients with concussion annually;
  • Functions within their college’s defined scope of practice and recognizes when to refer to other healthcare providers as patient symptoms require; and
  • Practices according to the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines.

Interdisciplinary concussion team refers to a group of healthcare professionals across multiple disciplines who provide healthcare services for concussion treatment and rehabilitation. Interdisciplinary care requires collaboration and communication around the needs of the patient, respecting the scope of professional practice and the qualifications brought by the different providers. It may also be known as inter-professional practice. Please refer to the Concussion Standards at https://concussionsontario.org/concussion/resources/standards-for-concussion-clinics for a list of potential members of an interdisciplinary concussion team.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images (slices) of the organs and tissues in the body. MRI machines also produce 3D images that can be viewed from different angles.

Pathology is the study of the nature of diseases and their causes, processes, development and consequences.

Prolonged symptoms, also known as persistent post-concussive symptoms or post-concussion syndrome, typically includes multiple new or ongoing symptoms post-injury as compared to pre-injury baseline which can be physical (e.g., headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or noise), mental (e.g., fogginess, difficulty concentrating, feeling “in a fog,”), emotional/behavioral (e.g., nervousness, anxiety, anger), or sleep (e.g., drowsiness, fatigue or low energy). Most children and adolescents with concussion have symptom resolution within four weeks.

Primary care provider is a physician or nurse practitioner who practices across the spectrum of common medical problems and are skilled in generating a diagnosis and offering comprehensive management of a health issue. This person provides continuing care to patients and coordinates referrals to other specialized healthcare professionals and practitioners.

Randomized clinical trial is a study in which people are chosen at random to receive one of several medical interventions. One of these interventions may be a standard practice, a sugar pill (placebo) or no intervention at all.

Somatic means that something affects the body.