A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way that your brain functions. While concussions are relatively common, especially among those who play sports, they can also result from a car accident, a fall or nearly any event that results in a blow to the head, neck or upper body or from a situation where your head is shaken suddenly or violently. It’s a topic that has received a considerable amount of attention lately as we begin to understand just how serious and long lasting their impacts can be. Here’s what you need to know to:
- CONCUSSION DEFINED: As mentioned, a concussion is a classified as a “traumatic brain injury” meaning that it is an injury caused by an external force that seriously injures the brain. Concussions are often considered “mild” traumatic brain injuries, but that doesn’t mean that these injuries are not serious. The brain is cushioned from bumps and blows by fluid inside the skull, however, an especially hard hit or sudden acceleration or deceleration can cause the brain to slide through the fluid and make contact with the inner wall of the skull, resulting in injury and potentially serious and long lasting consequences.
- DIAGNOSING A CONCUSSION: Concussions can be difficult to diagnose and many concussions go unrecognized or unreported. No two concussions are the same and symptoms will vary greatly depending on the person and the incident. Symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, loss of balance, headaches, confusion, memory loss and more. You do not need to be knocked unconscious to get a concussion. If you experience any of these symptoms following a hit to the head or other similar incident (even a minor one), it is a good idea to seek medical attention. Symptoms do not always show up right away. It could take 24 to 72 hours for symptoms to become apparent. Rest is important treatment for a concussion. Your brain will recover and heal during rest. It’s also important to avoid physical activity as well as strenuous mental activity such as reading, playing video games, watching TV or using the computer. A medical professional can help you determine when it is safe to return to these activities.
- CONCUSSIONS & SPORTS: Concussions are common in many contact sports, such as football or hockey. However, concussions can occur in basketball, baseball, soccer and various other sports. Currently, there are numerous attempts in various sporting leagues to attempt to prevent concussions as well as to screen and diagnose concussions more accurately.
- CHILDREN & CONCUSSIONS: Concussions don’t just happen to adults. If a child has a headache that worsens quickly or if he/she has any of the other symptoms listed above, they may have suffered a concussion. Remember, even relatively harmless-looking incidents (such as slips or falls) can cause a concussion, depending on the circumstances. Watch your child’s behaviour and get medical attention if you believe that the child may have suffered a concussion.
If you or someone you know has recently had a traumatic event and have been experiencing some of the above symptoms, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.