What is a concussion?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), often caused by an impact to the head. Symptoms can include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, feeling “foggy”, blurred vision, and many more.
Since a concussion is an injury to your brain, a concussion can affect any of the systems your brain regulates, such as:
- Vision (blurry or double)
- Balance (dizzy, unsteady)
- Heart rate (elevated heart rate)
- Thinking, problem solving
- Speaking (slurring, word finding)
- Mood (depression, anxiety)
Do I really need to rest?
Yes! After sustaining a concussion, your brain needs a lot of rest to recover. Think of your concussion like you would a broken leg; it needs time to heal so that you can get back to your regular activities and not make your injury any worse.
Unfortunately, there are no casts or crutches for your brain, only rest. So take it easy! Even activities you might usually find relaxing can be demanding for your brain and can trigger symptoms. These include:
- TV or computer use
Above all else, avoid any activities where you might be hit in the head again until your symptoms have resolved completely. Symptoms typically resolve in 7-10 days.
What if I’m not better after 7-10 days?
When a concussion persists longer than usual, it’s called Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) and you may require treatment to help you get back to your regular activities. That’s where we come in! We offer comprehensive assessment and treatment of many of the systems affected by concussion.
How we can help!
- Visual & Vestibular (balance) therapy
- Neuro-Visual Postural therapy
- Cardiovascular re-training
- Education about how to decrease the frequency and severity of your symptoms
- Treatment of the neck and other related injuries
- Return-to-work planning
- Return-to-sport planning
- Recommendations for psychology, optometry, sports medicine
- You can only get a concussion from hitting your head
- False! A concussion can occur with any acceleration/deceleration to the head or neck (like a whiplash injury). This causes the brain to shear against the inside of the skull, damaging axons. This process can occur without a direct impact to the head.
- You can only sustain a concussion if you lose consciousness
- Nope! Just because you stayed conscious doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Watch for symptoms of concussion after any hit or fall, regardless of whether or not you lost consciousness.
- Concussions only last a few days no matter what you do
- Although most concussions only last 7-10 days, rest is integral to a smooth recovery. If symptoms last longer, you may require treatment from a qualified Health Care Provider.
- If you have a concussion, you should stay in a quiet dark room until all of your symptoms are gone
- At first, this may be the only tolerable environment. However, long-term, this leads to isolation and depression. Contact us for safe activities during recovery.