Concussions: How To Recognize and Treat Them Effectively

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When it comes to concussions, people tend to categorize them in different ways. Some will hit their head and shake it off, not even knowing they had just suffered a concussion, and others may face serious, life-altering ramifications. Regardless of how well you feel after a blow to the head, it’s important to receive medical attention as soon as possible to ensure there are no lasting effects from the impact. 

 

Concussions are typically seen in sports, especially ones with a high level of contact (i.e., football, rugby, and boxing). A major concussion can have lasting effects and may take away one’s ability to participate in their sport for a period of time while they recover. Our Richmond Hill physiotherapy clinic can aid you in managing your concussion and will help you get back to your normal day-to-day life as soon as possible. 

 

It’s important to be aware of the symptoms, signs, and treatment options associated with concussions to help avoid a lengthy recovery process. 

 

What causes a concussion?

 

Concussions are caused by a blow or blunt impact to the head, neck, or anywhere on the body that can transmit force to the head. Concussions are typically associated with;

 

  • Sports incidents
  • Motor vehicle incidents
  • Slips and falls
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Falling objects

 

Most people who have experienced a concussion noted a blow to the head, however, with sufficient force, impact to the neck or other parts of the body can indirectly cause a concussion.

 

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

 

The symptoms of a concussion vary from person to person and depend on the force of impact. Loss of consciousness is possible, however, less than 20% of people experience this. Typically, the first symptom of a concussion is pain in the place of impact. Some may experience blurry vision, disorientation, dizziness, nausea, or a general sense of feeling “off”. In some instances, there may be minimal symptoms associated other than brief pain at the point of impact. However, don’t let this sway you from getting medical attention. Any blow to the head regardless of how one feels after should be looked at. 

 

Down the line, some people may experience confusion, anxiety, and depression associated with their concussion. Concussions can impact someone, not only physically, but mentally as well. 

 

What should I do if I think I have a concussion? 

 

First things first, don’t panic. If you have hit your head or have suffered a hard blow, it’s important to remain calm. If you were injured playing a sport, do not return to playing, even if you feel minimal pain. While the first blow may have had repercussions, another blow to the head could be dangerous and trigger more severe ramifications. If you have been in a motor vehicle accident and suspect you have a concussion, it’s best to proceed with receiving medical attention. If there has been any impact to the head, paramedics will most likely transport you to the hospital just to be safe. 

 

In any instance, it’s important to NOT ignore it. The sooner you get checked out, the sooner you can stop any potentially damaging or lasting effects from occurring. After a visit to a physician, they will then give you orders on how to proceed.

 

How can physiotherapy aid in my concussion recovery process?

 

Chances are if your physician has recommended physiotherapy, there is some lasting damage from your concussion. These can be minor damages that require minimal treatment or more serious damages, that will take longer to recover from. The concussion itself is usually what people recover from first, however, it’s the ramifications that stick and that is where physiotherapy comes into play. Physiotherapy can help with a plethora of lasting pain and discomfort associated with concussions including;

 

  • Spinal issues or issues surrounding the spine such as muscles and joints. Physiotherapy can help strengthen any affected neck or back muscles and help loosen up the joints to ensure flexibility and mobility remain intact. 
  • Exertion – sometimes, overdoing it can be the cause of a concussion and can cause issues in the recovery process. It’s important to follow the doctor’s order when you have a concussion and abide by any guidelines and limitations set out. If any exertion injuries arise post-concussion, our physiotherapists can help soothe and relax the overworked muscles.
  • Vestibular issues – a concussion can cause loss of balance, dizziness, or impaired motor functions. Physiotherapy can help you retain balance by working to reposition and align your body prior to the injury. 

 

Concussions should not be taken lightly and it’s important to listen to the instructions provided by medical professionals in order to ensure a full and speedy recovery. If you have suffered a blow to the head or anywhere in the body and suspect you may have a concussion, the sooner you get it looked at, the sooner you can get it treated and on your way to enjoying your day-to-day life once again.

Have you suffered a concussion and are looking for relief from your post-injury symptoms? Contact us today for a FRE