What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, usually of a mild form. It is caused by a sudden acceleration and deceleration (back and forth movement) force to the head and brain, which affects the brain to have a “shearing” effect from bouncing or twisting around in the skull, creating chemical changes. This can be as a result of a sudden bump, blow, jolt to the head or body. The sudden movement that occurs in the brain temporarily changes the way the brain normally operates. According to the CDC, approximately 3.8 million sports-related concussions are reported in the United States every year.
Signs of Concussion
- Personality or mood changes
- Loss of consciousness
- Slow reaction time
Symptoms of Concussion include:
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance issues
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Slurred speech
- Feeling dazed or “off”
- Feeling sleepy or groggy
Most people with a concussion will have a normal MRI, X-ray or CT scan.
Always seek a medical professional if you suspect you have suffered a concussion after a fall, sports injury or auto accident. A concussion can lead to serious health problems, therefore it is important to seek medical attention as soon as it is suspected.
Steps to take to speed up concussion recovery
- Remove yourself from the activity that caused the concussion
- Avoid activities that can increase your risk of another high impact to your body, head or brain.
- Limit screen time and loud music
- Sleep in a dark room
- Seek emotional support from friends and loved ones about your feelings
Our approach to concussion evaluation includes:
- History, education, precautions by a certified physical therapist
- Referrals for imaging or neuro testing if needed
- Exercise Testing
- Visual exam
- Cervical Spine Exam
- Vestibulo-Ocular exam
Based on the results of the evaluation, a plan of care will be developed by our certified physical therapist with concussion treatment activities tailored to the individual’s level and return to sports, work and life goals.