We hear about concussions all the time in sports and on TV, but what does having a concussion really mean and what can be done about it? Especially with the recent increase in media attention on concussions in the NFL, more parents are worried about what this could mean for their children involved in sports.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs with either a blow to the head or a rapid head movement in which the brain moves and hits the skull. When someone sustains a concussion, they may lose consciousness – but not always. A loss of consciousness is not necessary to indicate a head injury. Here are signs and symptoms sustaining a head injury that one should look for:
- balance problems
- sensitivity to light and noise
- personality changes
So what happens if you, someone you know, or your child has a concussion? The best thing for the brain after sustaining an injury is rest. The person should avoid exercise while having symptoms and slowly reintroduce exercise only after being symptom free for 24 hours. If symptoms reoccur, cease activity and return to resting. Avoid areas with a lot of stimulus and noise and rest in a quiet, dark room. Most mild concussions will resolve within-10 days. However, if symptoms continue to worsen or don’t go away, one should seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
For more information on concussions or to see a therapist who specializes in treating them, click here.