A concussion is a mild form of brain injury that causes a temporary disturbance in brain cells that can disrupt brain function. The injury is caused by an acceleration or deceleration of the brain that jars or shakes it inside the skull. This can cause a range of physical and/or cognitive symptoms.
A significant hit to the head, neck or face is often the main cause of a concussion injury. However, in some cases, a body blow can create a whiplash effect and send a painful or possibly damaging impact to the head. This can also result in concussion.
Athletes should be immediately removed from play, and must not return until assessed and cleared by a medical doctor or licensed healthcare practitioner with training in concussion management. Continuing to play can increase the risk for more severe, long-lasting concussion symptoms, and even increase the chance of further injury.
Since concussions cannot be seen on routine X-rays, CT Scans, or MRI, it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms.
Please take any and all precautions when a concussed person experiences certain symptoms after the injury. These Red Flags are signs of potentially more serious or life-threatening conditions.
It is important to get medical attention at the nearest emergency department if you experience any of the following:
Concussion Red Flags
- Headache that is worsening
- Feeling very drowsy or tired, or can’t be woken up
- Poor memory regarding things that just happened
- Can’t recognize people or places
- Repeating the same things or questions over and over
- Blood coming from the eyes, ears, nose and/or mouth
- Weakness particularly in arms and legs
If you have cleared by your doctor of any/all red flags and would like to be proactive regarding your concussion:
- Make an appointment with a physiotherapist: You should get a full evaluation by an experienced healthcare practitioner with training in concussion management. The faster you can get assessed by a healthcare provider with training or expertise in concussion management, the faster you can get on the path to recovery.
- Fortunately, an early intervention of treatment and rehabilitation can help get you back to doing the things you love. This is why it is important to follow the guidance of your healthcare provider.