Concussions are difficult to recognize as there is no visible injury to the brain, meaning that tests like CT scans usually appear normal. Recognition comes from various post-concussion symptoms such as; mentioned below, including, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, headaches and many others. Concussions are dangerous because in some instances an individual can feel normal while in fact still have a concussion and think that they are OK to return to activity. Returning to activity before the brain has fully healed leaves the individual more likely to suffer a second concussion, known as second impact syndrome.
A second blow to the head, even if it is a minor one, can result in a loss of control of the brain’s blood supply. It is important to prohibit athletes from returning to a game prematurely. Loss of control of blood supply leads to swelling of the brain resulting in increased pressure inside the skull, which can lead to herniation of the brain. The average time from second impact to brainstem failure is quite rapid, taking only two to five minutes. After this occurs, the situation becomes very severe and can become fatal.
If you notice anyone experiencing any of the following signs after a concussion you should ensure they receive proper treatment by a properly trained medical professional.
- Trouble concentrating, confusion or remembering
- Drowsy or hard to arouse
- Nausea and/or Vomiting
- Muscle weakness
- More irritable than normal
- More emotional then normal either happy, sad, depressed
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Blurry or double vision, unusual eye movements
- Dizzy or Walking problems
I may have a concussion: What do I do?
If you believe you may have suffered a concussion you need to tell someone! While you may think you are ok, someone else will be able to give you an unbiased opinion of your state of mind. Online tests for concussions can serve as a starting point to determining the proper course of action, but to gain accurate information/diagnosis you must visit a doctor or an individual trained in assessment and management of concussions. The doctor will be able to tell you the severity of your injury, as well as proper steps to follow in order to allow your brain time to heal. In general, a concussion requires a lot of rest (especially in the early stages – first 48-72 hours) to decrease the workload on your brain. Activities such as driving, watching movies, playing video games, and any physical activity all increase brain activity and blood flow which can affect the speed of recovery.
Make sure that you tell someone (your coach, parent, teacher etc.) so that you are not left alone. Remove yourself from sport, class, and/or work until a Medical Physician can properly assess you. Complete rest is the best treatment during the initial hours of the injury.
Schedule an appointment to see a Medical Physician as soon as possible. It is not usually necessary to visit the emergency room unless your symptoms are severe and/or rapidly worsening. It is not usually necessary to have someone wake you in the night – get a good night’s sleep, and nap when you need to. Limit use of your phone, television, and computer – try to rest both your body and your brain.
Undergo proper medical evaluation by a Physician. This does not typically include CT or MRI unless more severe injury is suspected or needs to be ruled out.
Visit one of the recommended concussion clinics, (ie Shift Concussion Management) in your area for further assessment and rehab. If you have previously undergone baseline testing, repeat testing will demonstrate any areas that may be impaired due to the injury and will help guide management/rehab recommendations. If you have not previously undergone baseline testing, a follow-up assessment with a rehabilitative Healthcare Professional who deals with concussions is still highly recommended (eg. Physiotherapist, Athletic Therapist).
Follow any management recommendations given to you by your Physician and rehabilitative Healthcare Professional. These may include manual therapy (eg. for associated neck pain), specific rest strategies and home recommendations, modified school and/or work requirements, specialized rehabilitative techniques (eg. vision therapy), and other recovery strategies.
Follow-up with the Health Professionals involved in your care so that your recovery is properly monitored. If you have questions – ask! Knowledge of your injury will aid in your recovery.
Please note: The above list is not exhaustive nor does having one or more of these symptoms mean that someone has a concussion. It is merely a guide to possible concussive symptoms. It is important to seek medical attention immediately to receive a diagnosis.
Please note: All content found herein is provided for information and educational purposes. Information on injury prevention education, sports equipment and health promotion and should only be used to support – not replace- the advice of a doctor or other health professional. Additionally, the information is not intended to provide medical, legal or financial advice. If you think you are concussed or know someone who may be concussed you should consult appropriate medical advice from a physician or other qualified healthcare professional prior to acting upon any information available at Source For Sports retail locations or through stopconcussions.com website(s).
L’intégralité du contenu se retrouvant ici est fournie à titre informatif et dans un but éducatif. L’information présentée sur la prévention des blessures, l’équipement sportif et sur la santé ne devrait être utilisé qu’à des fins d’accompagnement et non de remplacement à des conseils médicaux provenant d’un médecin ou d’un autre professionnel de la santé. De plus, ces informations ne sont pas destinées à servir de conseils médicaux, légaux, ou financiers. Si vous pensez souffrir d’une commotion ou si vous connaissez quelqu’un qui pourrait en souffrir, vous devriez consulter de manière à obtenir des conseils médicaux appropriés de la part d’un médecin ou de tout autre professionnel de la santé. Il est important de ne pas agir par rapport à l’information disponible aux différentes succursales de La Source du Sport, son site web et sur le site internet de stopconcussions.com sans l’avis préalable d’un professionnel de la santé.