Concussions have become a “hot topic” lately due to the lawsuits by previous NFL players which brought more awareness to the serious life altering consequences of improper medical management following the initial injury. Concussions do not just occur in professional football or athletic competitions and are frequently overlooked following motor vehicle accidents, falls, or blows to the head in the general population. Returning to normal activities without allowing the brain to heal properly can lead to a wide range of short- or long-term complications, affecting thinking, sensation, language or emotions. These changes may lead to problems with memory, communication, personality changes, as well as depression and the early onset of dementia.
How concussions are typically diagnosed
Concussions typically do not show up on CT scans or brain MRI, so a normal result following imaging does not mean that no injury is present. The diagnosis is typically derived from examining the mechanism of injury in combination with patient symptoms. Becoming more educated about the signs and symptoms of concussions will allow you to send your friends & family to get proper help if you suspect they may have suffered a concussion. It is imperative that a patient seek early intervention following the onset of symptoms.
A concussion may be suspected with 1 or more of the following:
- Intolerance to stress
- Poor concentration
- Taking longer to think
- Blurred vision
- Personality changes.
Most patients who suffer from symptoms of post-concussion syndrome did not receive proper treatment and returned to their pre-injury activities too soon, which places them at increased risk for re-injury and prolongs their symptoms that may last for years.
A physical therapist is uniquely trained to guide patient’s safely back to their pre-injury activities while promoting proper healing of the brain. All physical therapists at Spine & Sport will conduct a thorough examination and create a plan of action that will prevent prolonged symptoms that could potentially lead to very serious health complications and financial burden.