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Concussion Management. What is a Concussion?

2018/04/09 Home Education and advice

Concussion Management. What is a Concussion?

Any change in brain function caused by a DIRECT or INDIRECT force transmitted to the head resulting in one or more of the following symptoms:

 

Loss of consciousness (LOC)            Abnormal vision

Headache                                       Hearing problems

Confusion / Disorientation                Sleep Irregularities (delayed symptom)

Dizziness / Vertigo                           Personality Changes (delayed symptom)

Memory Difficulties                          Lethargy (delayed symptom)

Light sensitivity                               Fatigue (delayed symptom)

Nausea / Vomiting                           Depression (delayed symptom)

 

* Delayed symptoms may only appear a few hours to days following the initial injury.

 

 

How to Diagnose a Concussion?

Diagnosis of a concussion is based on multiple standardized tests that can be performed by a trained healthcare professional. Proper diagnosis of a concussion is also highly dependent on the athlete accurately reporting their symptoms following the injury. Please note that in this text we will be using the word ‘athlete’ but a concussion can occur in a non-sport related situation (such as in a car accident or upon hitting our head on a low ceiling).

 

What should you do if you suspect a Concussion?

If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, it is important that they stop the sport immediately. After having a concussion, the athlete will need to rest both mentally and physically. This means that the athlete may need time off school and/or work in the initial phase of recovery. When symptoms begin to subside, athletes will begin a gradual return to school/work and a gradual return to play protocol.  We will soon publish a second article on this topic.

 

Following a concussion, athletes should:

  • Avoid heavy resistance exercises such as gym
  • Wear sunglasses and earplugs (if the athlete reports sensitivity to noise and light)
  • Decrease time spent in front of screens of all kinds (computer, TV, phone, video games)
  • Learn to pace their daily activities to avoid symptoms
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages

 

What kind of Treatment is available for Concussions?

Symptoms reported with concussions include headaches, vertigo, visual disturbances, sleep irregularities, and neck/back pain, which respond well to physiotherapy and osteopathy. These healthcare professionals can assess and treat any mechanical dysfunctions within the spine that can be contributing to your symptoms. They will also help guide your recovery back to school/work and sport. Appropriate exercises will be prescribed to facilitate recovery.

 

Vanessa Beaumont,

Physiotherapist

Kinatex Sport Physio Côte-Vertu

 

References

 

  • McCrory, P. et al. 2017. Consensus statement on concussion in sport—the 5th international conference on concussion in sport held in Berlin, October 2016. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Vol 0: pp. 1-10.
  • Fait, P. and Langevin, P. 2017. Formation Kinatex: Le traumatise craniocérébral léger : de la blessure au retour à la fonction, October 27th, 2017 [powerpoint slides].
  • Images from : http://nyacknewsandviews.com/2018/02/how-to-know-if-you-have-a-concussion/. Retrieved March 5th, 2018