Determining if you have a concussion
Concussions have been a hot topic in medicine for a few years, but many people still have questions regarding what exactly concussions are and how they should be treated.
Simply, concussions are a bruise to the brain that occurs when the brain hits the inner side of the skull. This usually occurs when the brain has a sudden stop. Studies suggest that you are more likely to get a concussion with a sudden stop if there is rotation, or turning, of the head during the fall or hit. Diagnosing a concussion can be complex as there are no clear tests that can show the damage including MRI or CT Scan. Scientists are working on solving this problem, but there are no clear answers yet. Even the story of how the injury happened can be quite different. You do not have be go unconscious (or be knocked out) to shows signs of a concussion. In fact, you don’t even have to hit your head. Often the sudden forward and back or side to side motion of a quick and jarring stop can be enough.
Doctors and Sport therapists will look at many factors to decide if you have a concussion. They will look at your symptoms such as a headache or dizziness. Even feeling sad or angry more than normal can be a sign of a concussion. They will also assess your balance, ability to concentrate and remember facts to see how your brain is working. Baseline testing for people at higher risk, such as athletes, can be helpful. Then the medical practitioner can compare these results to what was normal for you before you were injured. If you have not had baseline testing, they will compare it to what is average for someone your age. If it has been decided that you do have a concussion, this medical professional can guide you through the proper treatment and process to return to activity.
For more information on this topic please watch “Concussion 101 – Primer for Parents and Kids”, by Dr. Mike Evans.