Sports related concussion is a mild form of a traumatic brain injury.
It is due to a complex metabolic cascade in the brain from direct or indirect external forces. It is important to look for certain red flag signs to rule out other causes of an athlete's symptoms.
Trouble falling asleep:
Sleeping more than usual:
Sleeping less than usual:
Sensitivity to light:
Sensitivity to noise:
Feeling more emotional:
Feeling slowed down:
Feeling mentally "foggy":
There is no formal diagnostic test for concussions. However there are tools available that your doctor may use to assist with identifying whether you had a concussion.
We diagnose concussions based on an athlete’s symptoms. These symptoms may range from headaches , dizziness, visual and balance abnormalities and mood changes. We follow these symptoms to see if an athlete is improving.
The Treatment of a concussion is based on treating the symptoms that one may have, allowing the brain to heal through sleep and prevention of a more complicated brain injury by ensuring the athlete is ready to return to play.
Your physician may recommend a physical therapist guided exercise program to assist in your recovery.
Once symptoms have subsided your physician would then recommend a 5 step return to play protocol.
If you return to your sport too early there is a risk of complications, including prolonged recovery, having another concussion or swelling in the brain which may have fatal complications.
Once someone has a concussion there is an increased risk of having another concussion.
As the amount of concussions increase there is a potential for there to be long term effects on the brain but we do not know how many concussions will lead to this. The topic of concussions is still being heavily researched and there are still things we are learning regarding the approach and management.