A concussion is a relatively common head injury that occurs as a result of a blow to the head or similar trauma. Concussions can cause temporary problems with the body’s cognitive systems, including confusion and dizziness. By understanding the common causes of concussions, along with diagnosis and treatment options, you can better recognize concussion symptoms and know when to seek treatment if you or a loved one suffers from a head injury.
Causes and Risk Factors
While a concussion is almost always caused by trauma to the head, a more specific cause is head trauma that causes the head and brain to move or bounce abruptly. when this occurs, brain cells can be damaged and chemical changes in the brain can occur.
Anybody can suffer from a concussion, but some risk factors and scenarios can make a person more likely to experience a concussion in their lifetime. For example, those who play high-impact sports (such as football or hockey) are more likely to suffer head trauma that can lead to a concussion. Specifically, male athletes are believed to be about four times more likely to suffer from a concussion than female athletes. It is also widely accepted that those who have had a concussion in the past are more likely to experience another one in the future.
While research studies have attempted to find a link between age and the likelihood of concussion, there has been no definitive evidence that a person’s chances of having a concussion increase or decrease with age.
If you have experienced a head injury, it’s important to be on the lookout for potential signs of a concussion. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- lack of coordination
- nausea and/or vomiting
- sudden fatigue
- ringing in the ears
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s in your best interest to seek medical attention so that the diagnosis can be confirmed and you can receive prompt treatment. There are also some free online tests that allow you to rate your symptoms on a scale of “none” to “extreme,” and then provide you with a report that details the likelihood that you have a concussion. Of course, online tests and other at-home tests should never substitute a doctor’s professional opinion.
Your doctor may test for a concussion in a number of ways, including “testing” you with simple problem solving, coordination, and balance tests. Sometimes, a CT scan or MRI may also be needed to confirm a diagnosis and make sure that there is no bruising or bleeding of the brain.
Generally, a concussion is something the body needs to heal naturally and over time. However, your doctor will most likely advise you to get plenty of rest and allow the brain to recover by avoiding heavy physical activity as well as too much TV, video games, or similar activities. In some cases, medications for headaches or nausea may also be prescribed based on the severity of your symptoms.
Physical therapy can also come into play when it comes to treating and recovering from a concussion, especially if the rest required from your doctor has resulted in muscle loss or weakness. A physical therapist can customize a rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise program to help restore your strength, improve balance, prevent headaches, and help you return to your normal way of life.
If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from a concussion, or if you’re interested in learning more about how physical therapy can help, our team at Cawley PT and Rehab is here to assist you. Contact us today by calling (570) 208-2787 or email Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.