How To Better Understand Concussions

 

 

Understanding Concussions

Concussions can and do happen to anyone, so it is crucial to recognize the signs and take proper precautions. In a definition provided by the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move inside the skull. Even a ding, getting your bell rung, or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head is serious.

 

Common Symptoms

 

·    Difficulty concentrating

·    Headaches

·    Fuzzy or blurred vision

·    Nausea or vomiting

·    Dizziness & balance problems

·    Sensitivity to light and noise

·    Lethargy

·    Irritable or sad

·    Nervous or anxious

·    Irregular sleep patterns

Extreme Symptoms

 

·    Unconscious or have had a brief loss of consciousness

·    One pupil is larger than the other

·    Having convulsions or seizures

·    Cannot recognize people or places

·    Unusual behavior

·    Headache that gets worse and does not go away

Concussion Recovery Treatment

 

·    Remove the concussed person from work, school, or play immediately after the injury and seek care.

·    Encourage plenty of rest with uninterrupted sleep. Sufficient sleep will allow the brain to heal and is necessary for recovery.

·    Traumatic brain injury is an evolving process, chemical and metabolic changes occur for days, weeks to months after the impact. It is important to prevent any additional concussions and avoid a second impact syndrome during this period.

·    Children and adolescents may recover more slowly due to their continued brain development.

As patients experience concussions, some symptoms can worsen or be agitated more at work or school. When this happens, physical therapists can put protocols in place to help assist with the workload. Treatment will be tailored to the individual’s condition and will involve exercises/stretches for balance, vision, the inner ear, and more in order to restore brain function.

In every scenario, it is crucial to receive an accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Physical therapy can play a significant role in monitoring the healing process after a concussion has occurred. As physical therapists, we are trained in the step-by-step process of monitoring the post-concussed patient and safely returning them to their previous activities. Getting diagnosed and seeking medical attention immediately is crucial to a healthy recovery.

For more information about concussions visit www.cdc.gov/concussion.

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