A concussion is a head injury caused by moving forces such as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. This can result in a variety of symptoms and temporary changes in mental status, coordination, and balance. A concussion is a form of a traumatic brain injury. After a concussion, the symptoms that occur differ from patient to patient. Symptoms may not even appear for days or weeks after the injury.
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- Vision problems
- Trouble concentrationg
- Balance problems
- Dazed or looks stunned
- Answers questions slowly
- Repeats themselves
- Can’t recall events prior to the hit
- Can’t recall events after the hit
- Feeling slowed down
- Sleep problems
Concussion symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to weeks or months. Postconcussion syndrome can last for years. This usually depends on quickly the concussion was diagnosed, whether or not the concussion is properly cared for, and avoiding another concussion before the initial injury is healed.
There is no one perfect diagnostic tool. Our clinicians rely on objective tools as well as their clinical expertise and symptom reporting to help determine whether a patient has a concussion. The majority of the time, concussions don’t show up on CT scans or MRIs.
We may use any of the following tools to help make a concussion diagnosis:
- Clinical examination
- ImPACT® neurocognitive testing
- Balance testing
- Vestibular ocular motor testing
- Symptom inventories
Concussion is treated differently depending on the symptoms a person has. Research has shown that active rehabilitation and actively targeting deficits a person experiencing is an excellent way to treat a concussion.
Concussion and sleep: what precautions should be taken?
It’s a common myth that you shouldn’t sleep after a concussion. In fact, sleep can help your brain get the rest it needs after a concussion, especially in the first 24 hours. As long as you don’t present danger signs, you can sleep.
What are the danger signs of a head injury?
Danger signs can include dilated or uneven pupils, slurred speech, severe headaches, confusion, repeated vomiting, loss of consciousness extreme drowsiness or cannot be awakened, convulsions/seizures, difficulty recognizing people or places, weakness, numbness, blood or other fluid from within the ear, and other symptoms that worsen over time. If they do show some of these signs, go to the emergency room is recommended.
In general, a baseline concussion test is one that is given typically during pre-season to establish a person’s typical scores on the test. If a concussion occurs, the test can be repeated to compare to the preseason results. You do not have to have a baseline test to be evaluated for a concussion.
ImPACT Baseline testing is comprised of computerized assessments that measure reaction time, memory capacity (visual and verbal), speed of mental processing, and executive functioning of the brain. Having an estimate of the individual’s functioning prior to an injury helps the healthcare provider more accurately determine the extent of the injury and an appropriate treatment plan.
SWAY Balance Baseline testing uses the built-in motion sensors of any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch* device, health professionals can administer a medical grade objective balance test. The built-in motion sensors of the mobile device assist in identifying the earliest intentional movement as a response to a stimulus. Sway’s Simple Reaction Time is a significant step in bringing accurate cognitive testing to a mobile device.
Video ideas for treatment
- Balance on foam
- Walking and eye tracking
- Eye tracking w thumb moving
- C spine manual traction or something supine
- Treadmill walk/jogging
Video ideas for diagnosis
- Voms screening
- Balance assessment
- Taking ImPACT
- Reflex testing
- Cervical spine ROM measurement