Concussions should never be taken as a light injury and must be attended to. Here are five things about concussions.
- A concussion may be caused by a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or impact elsewhere that transmits force to the head.
- A concussion can occur from falling, or a car or bike accident. There is a greater risk of occurring in sports that involve body contact, collisions, and/or moving at high speeds.
- A concussion can be difficult to diagnose because clinical symptoms and signs can change and may evolve over time. The diagnosis of a concussion is based on the assessment of a range of symptoms (i.e., headache, difficulty concentrating, or brain fog), signs (i.e., loss of consciousness or balance disturbance), cognitive impairment (i.e., confusion or slowed reaction times) and neurobehavioral changes, such as irritability.
- Recovery: When properly managed, 80–90% of concussions resolve in a short period of about 7–10 days, although the recovery time frame may be longer in children and adolescents.
- Often, the most important factor in concussion management is physical and cognitive rest until the symptoms resolve. During the rest period, try to maintain activity levels that do not worsen the symptoms.
If at any point you believe someone may have a concussion, contact medical staff immediately to assess the situation.
McCrory P, Meeuwisse WH, Aubry M, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport—the 4th international conference on concussion in sport held in Zurich, November 2012. Br J Sports Med. 2013; 47(5): 250-8.
Lawrence DW, Richards D, Comper P, Hutchison MG. Earlier time to aerobic exercise is associated with faster recovery following acute sport concussion. PLoS One. 2018 Apr 18;13(4).