Unfortunately, concussions are a relatively common occurrence, not just in sport, but in day to day life as well. Correct Concussion Assessment and Treatment is important to prevent lasting symptoms.
Concussions are a mild traumatic injury to the brain. Because your brain sits within the skull in a fluid filled space, it can move around and hit the side of the skull when you hit your head. Obviously the harder you hit your head, the more damage your brain is likely to suffer. However, research is suggesting that repeated low impact knocks, such as heading a ball in soccer, can damage the brain as well.
Don’t be confused by the term “mild” either. Mild means not severe, i.e. you haven’t ended up in intensive care or in a coma. Mild traumatic brain injury is still a brain injury and needs to be treated with care.
Common Causes of Concussion
Contact sports are the most common causes of concussion. For example, AFL, rugby, and American football. However falling or being hit with a ball such as might occur in horse riding, cycling, skateboarding or basketball can also cause a concussion.
Other common non-sport causes include falling and hitting your head, or sudden head movements such as whiplash from a car accident.
Signs and Symptoms of Concussion
If you’ve sustained an impact to your head or had something like whiplash, you should assume you have had a concussion, even if it is quite mild. Signs of severe concussion can include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Blurred or double vision
- Tingling or numbness in your limbs
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness (being knocked out) at the time of the impact or afterward
- Speech difficulties
However, the exact signs and symptoms will depend on the brain areas injured. We recommend the HeadCheck app to determine how a concussion should be managed immediately after the injury. Medical evaluation is recommended for most concussions.
Treatment by a qualified professional such as a physiotherapist, is important for managing return to work, school or sport. Many people just need a few days rest and then they can gradually return to normal activity afterward. However, even with a normal, event-free recovery, changes persist in the brain for 2 weeks in adults and 4 weeks for children. So, you should be careful about returning to normal activities too soon. If activity causes symptoms, stop and seek advice. Baseline concussion testing can help in determine when you’re ready to return to normal activity.
If you’re experiencing any persistent symptoms beyond a couple of weeks, or if you’re not sure about how best to manage your concussion, you should get help. We can provide return to activity plans and guide you through the process.
Post-Concussion Syndrome is when you continue to experience long term symptoms after some sort of mild traumatic brain injury. Symptoms can include dizziness and vertigo, headache, nausea, aversion to light and sound, concentration and memory issues and more. Thankfully, with an appropriate plan many people can return to a normal life. Contact us for assistance in developing a plan for you.
Concussions can be daunting, especially with links to long term conditions like depression and Alzheimer’s Dementia. However, with careful Concussion Assessment and Treatment, most people recover. To arrange your initial consultation and discuss the treatment options and alternatives that we can offer you please contact us today on 03 9034 7735 or Book Online now.