A concussion entails traumatic brain damage that affects brain function- it results from a setback to the head or a hit to the body, causing sudden movement. A concussion makes the brain bounce and twist in the skull, which can cause lasting effects as well as a change in brain chemical balance.

Causes of Concussion

The skull encases the brain, which is soft tissue. A fluid called the cerebral spinal fluid surrounds the brain, cushioning it. Trauma to the head causes the brain to contact the skull, which can cause inflammation throughout the brain. It can also cause bleeding in the brain.

These injuries can result from a direct blow to the head or turning the head rapidly.

Head injury can be mild or severe, leading to unconsciousness or death. Furthermore, a head injury can either be;

  • Coup Injury – It’s a direct blow to the brain. It occurs in the brain directly under the point of impact.
  • Counter Coup Injury – It occurs on the opposite side of the brain from where the impact occurred. It is a secondary injury to the trauma.

Signs and Symptoms

A concussion’s signs and symptoms can be subtle as well as may take time to show up. These symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Loss of memory
  • Confusion
  • Ringing of ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Blurry vision

Risk Factors

Concussions can also affect anyone, from young children to older adults. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Falling – this is the leading cause of brain injury
  • High-risk sports without safety gear
  • Repetitive blows to the head like in boxing
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Being a victim of physical abuse
  • Previous concussion
  • Shaking – like in the case of shaken baby syndrome.

Management of Concussions

When you experience trauma to your head, it is essential to visit your doctor for a checkup if your symptoms persist, so that they can determine the severity of the injury.

There is no specific cure for a concussion, but resting and restricting activities are commendable for the recovery of the brain. Other things you can do are:

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid screen time
  • Take a break from mentally demanding activities
  • Avoid loud noises and bright lights
  • Take medicine for pain and anti-emetics for nausea. Avoid NSAIDs as they can increase the severity of a brain bleed.

In many cases, symptoms disappear within one month. However, it is also vital to ensure signs are clear before engaging in activities to avoid a second head injury.

After a concussion, it is also advisable to rest. In fact, it is the first step to recovery. Most concussions will resolve independently if a therapist can help you to;

  • Relieve head pain and neck pain
  • Reduce dizziness
  • Improve balance
  • Safely get you back to your usual self

Physical therapy also involves individualized treatment to offer comprehensive care specific to the patient’s needs.

The rehab physiotherapy program for a concussion consists of;

  • Vision rehabilitation: – vision therapy can help restore normal functioning of the eye after a concussion.
  • Vestibular Rehab
  • Cervical spine rehab
  • Aerobic exercises that do not worsen symptoms 
  • A return to regular lifestyle training

Concussion Protocol

A concussion protocol is an agreed-upon plan for managing concussions. This protocol ensures everyone involved in managing a trauma knows what to do and when. It also helps doctors and caregivers establish recovery times for their patients.

Final Thoughts

Close monitoring in case of injury to the head is essential. For a full recovery, work with a physical therapist to help you regain a normal lifestyle. Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehab is a patient-based private practice physical therapy company.

We have physical therapists treating all orthopedic and neurological conditions. To learn more about us, visit our website. You can also call 570-208-2787 or email us at cawleyptfrank@gmail.com to set up an appointment.