WHAT IS A CONCUSSION AND POST CONCUSSION SYNDROME?
Updated: May 19
A concussion is a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). A concussion occurs from a sudden trauma or blow to the head, in some cases the brain moves within the skull.
This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
Concussions can be caused by physical trauma such as a contact sports injury, a fall, an assault, or car accident. Post-concussion syndrome is lingering symptoms for weeks or months following a concussion. Deficits may last up to 6 months.
Post-concussion syndrome is diagnosed by having 3 of the following symptoms after an injury to the head: headache, dizziness, vertigo, fatigue, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, depression, anxiety, personality changes, and/or sensitivity to noise and light.
SIGNS OF A CONCUSSION
• Jolt, bump, blow, or trauma to the head
• Loss of consciousness
• Confused after the injury
• Blacked out” or can’t remember events prior to the injury
• Mood and behavior changes
• Poor balance
• Slow reaction time
HOW CAN A CONCUSSION IMPACT YOUR HEALTH
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Bothered by light or noise
• Concentration or memory problems
• Ringing of the ears
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CONCUSSION?
If you think you have had a concussion, consult a specialist right away for a neurological examination. Try to recall the mechanism of injury and how you felt during and after the injury. Did you lose consciousness, feel dizziness, or experience nausea? If the concussion was sports-related, cease playing sports until receiving medical clearance to return to sport.
Your practitioner will monitor your progress. Start with a brief period of rest. Common rehabilitation techniques include neck and upper back treatments, eye movements, and balance training.
AT HOME MANAGEMENT FOR A CONCUSSION
◊ A period of physical and mental rest is recommended for 24-48 hours after the injury. Avoid physical strain and difficult cognitive activities.
REDUCE SCREEN TIME AND LIMIT EXPOSURE TO BRIGHT LIGHTS
◊ Minimize eyestrain and headaches by reducing screen time and exposure to bright lights. If you feel sensitive to light wear sunglasses or blue light blocking glasses.
◊ Perform approximately 20 minutes of light aerobic activity per day after your rest period. If you experience pain, dizziness, or nausea from exercise, stop immediately.