Concussions - Some Useful Info For You

A concussion is an injury to the brain from an acceleration then deceleration force on the brain – so basically any force that causes a quick jar or shaking of your brain.


There can be many causes of concussion such as a fall, a sports-related injury, a motor vehicle accident or impact to your head or body. You don’t necessarily have to pass out to have a concussion.


What effects can a concussion have? - Symptoms fit into 4 categories:


Thinking and Remembering

· Difficulty concentrating

· Feeling foggy or slowed down



· Nausea and vomiting

· Headache

· Blurry vision

· Dizziness

· Sensitivity to light or noise

· Balance issues


Emotional and Mood

· Sad

· Nervous or anxious

· More emotional


· Changes in sleep pattern

· Having a hard time falling asleep


Post-concussion syndrome

About 20% of uncomplicated concussion cases will demonstrate clinical recovery in a relatively short timeframe (McCrory et al., 2017). Adults will typically get better in approximately 2 weeks. Children and adolescents will typically get better within 30 days.


Sometimes symptoms can exceed the expected timeframe for recovery. 15-20% of individuals with concussion continue to experience persistent and potentially disabling problems months post-injury including:

· Reduced functional ability

· Heightened emotional distress

· Delayed return to work, school, or poor overall performance


When should I get treatment?



You should see a medical doctor and seek care during the initial stage of your recovery.


During the first few days visual input should be minimized. This means NO:

· TV

· Video Games

· Reading

· Texting/screen time


After the First Few Days

Recovery from a concussion can take time. Most people will recover within the first 3 months. Physiotherapists can work closely with you and your doctor to help you reach recovery.


Physiotherapists can help by assessing your visual and vestibular systems. These are sensory systems that contribute to the sense of balance and spatial orientation for the purpose of coordinating movement with balance.


There can also be neck issues that typically arise from the trauma associated with concussion. Secondary to the forces involved, it’s highly unlikely to sustain a concussion without also injuring the neck. Physiotherapists can work with you to treat all of these systems and areas of pain.


They will help you identify and recognize the injury, education you and validate what you’re experiencing. They will also prescribe specific visual and vestibular exercises to help you recover and return to the activities that you love.


Part of the recovery is providing you information on a safe return to work and activity. It’s important to avoid a premature return to sport and activity.


If you have suffered from a concussion or post-concussion syndrome, please book with one of our physios.


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