What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI for short) which often occurs due to taking a blow/bump to the head or by a sudden jolting motion to your head or body. The force placed on the body causes shearing forces within the layers of the brain, which causes disturbances in the brain’s function. A variety of symptoms can occur, potentially becoming quite debilitating if not addressed properly. You don’t have to be knocked-out or hit your head to suffer a concussion.
Concussions are becoming more common and are often seen in people who have sustained a sports injury, fall or have been involved in workplace or motor vehicle accident. Concussions are often seen concurrently in those with neck injuries (i.e. when someone is rear-ended in a car accident) and are often misdiagnosed as whiplash because of their similar presentation, which can lead to a variety of symptoms which can be potentially very debilitating.
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What are the symptoms of a concussion?
Everyone’s concussion experience will be different. There are a number of different symptoms an individual may experience. Often the symptoms of a concussion will be brought on by too much physical or mental stimulation, such as returning too early to sport, school/studies, work or a specific hobby you may have.
Below are a number of symptoms you may feel if you have a concussion:
- Headache /pressure in the head
- Neck Pain
- Trouble remembering
- Trouble concentrating
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
- Visual disturbances or blurred vision
- Balance issues feelings of being unsteady
- Nausea /vomiting
- Emotional disturbances and changes such as irritability, sadness, anxiety or feeling nervous
- Fatigue / low energy or feeling slowed down
- Disturbances with sleep
- General feelings of being unwell or “not right”
How can my concussion be treated?
Most concussions resolve on their own. Symptoms resolution may be as quick as 7-10 days, but the brain continues to recover for up to 4 weeks. However, about 15% of concussion do not recover on their own and an individual develops Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). In PCS, symptoms may last for months to years. It is not recommended that anyone with concussion symptoms return to sport, or compete activities to a degree that will provoke their concussion symptoms.
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