July 11, 2022
The Importance of Communication in Concussion Recovery When it comes to recovery, some injuries are simpler than others. For instance, if you break your leg in a ski accident, X-rays…
A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury that causes a temporary disturbance in brain cells that can disrupt brain function. The injury is caused by an acceleration or deceleration of the brain that jars or shakes it inside the skull. This can cause a range of physical and/or cognitive symptoms.
A significant hit to the head, neck or face is often the main cause of a concussion injury. However, in some cases, a big blow to the body can create a whiplash effect and send a painful or possibly damaging impact to the head. This can also result in concussion.
Since concussions cannot be seen on routine X-rays, CT scans or MRIs, it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms.
Concussions are most commonly reported in contact or high risk sports such as American football, rugby, hockey and gymnastics, for example. Other ways that someone can get a concussion may include:
This is not an extensive list. The reality is a concussion can happen at any place at any time.
If you have a mechanism of injury – meaning a significant blow to the head or body – and at least one symptom listed below, you should have a high suspicion of concussion.
Athletes should be immediately removed from play, and must not return until assessed and cleared by a medical doctor or licensed healthcare practitioner with training in concussion management.
Continuing to play can increase the risk for more severe, long-lasting concussion symptoms, and even increase the chance of further injury.
There are four main categories of concussion symptoms: cognitive / mental; physical; emotional; and sleep-related. Every concussion is unique, and each person may experience symptoms differently.
Remember, you should suspect a concussion if at least one of these symptoms is present following contact. Each case is different. Some people may experience a few of these whereas others may experience many more.
Never forget the signs and symptoms of concussion with this free infographic.
If any of the below symptoms are present following a big hit to the head or body, immediately go to the nearest emergency room or call emergency services. Presentation of these symptoms increase the likelihood of more serious injuries that need to be looked at right away!
There is no single objective measure that can diagnose a concussion; concussions remain a clinical diagnosis. To make this diagnosis, healthcare practitioners may make look at a series of variables that could indicate head trauma. The difficulty with this, however, is that healthcare professionals often need to know your pre-injury function (known as concussion “baseline testing”) in order to be able to accurately interpret the results.
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