Concussion Recovery Often Involves Professional Concussion Management
Concussions in pro-contact-sports like hockey and football have made many news headlines these past few years, and are an all too common an injury. A body check into the boards or a tackle on the field can have devastating effects on the person being hit. In the old days, ignoring the signs of a concussion was wrongly perceived as somehow manning-up. Thank goodness times have changed. Pro-athletes and their families have worked hard to make clear to others that suffering a concussion can have both short and long term effects. In the new age of sports, it has become emphatically evident that seeking immediate professional concussion management is paramount to concussion recovery.
What is a concussion? A concussion is essentially a traumatic brain injury that temporarily impacts your brains ability to function, delaying such things as memory, judgement, coordination or reflexes. It is often accompanied by a severe headache, altered levels of consciousness, seizures, nausea and vomiting or even a loss of consciousness.
Since a concussion is not always accompanied by a loss of consciousness, a person may be misled into complacency and fooled into not having a concussion diagnosed right away. Waiting too long to receive adequate concussion recovery care can be problematic.
How are concussions diagnosed? Severe headaches can often be an indication, though these dont automatically mean a concussion is the root of the problem — just as the absence of a headache doesnt necessarily mean a concussion isnt present. Different tests and exams can be used to diagnose a concussion, including a check of the nervous system, tests to see if eye pupil size has significantly changed, or if thinking ability or reflexes are decreased. Other tests include an EEG, MRI, or a CT of the head.
Once a concussion has been diagnosed, there are different ways to deal with concussion recovery. Professional concussion management often involves professionally monitoring the patient, and assisting in their recovery. Testing cognitive function, brain response, and memory all assist with proper and responsible concussion recovery.
Determining when it is safe for a patient to resume participating in sports again is also an important part of professional concussion management. Returning to the field or the court too early can be extremely harmful. Since a player that has sustained a concussion is as much as six-times more likely to experience a second concussion, it is crucial to take concussion recovery very seriously. Suffering secondary concussions can lead to long-term effects ranging from prolonged dizziness to permanent brain damage, so relying on a professional concussion management team to determine the safe recovery period for each individual is an important part of concussion recovery, and can help prevent future injuries.
In addition, heading back to the field too soon could foster the development of post-concussion syndrome which is often determined by the development of fatigue, headache, or difficulty concentrating in the weeks or even months following the initial concussion. Again, the role of a professional concussion management team is vital to helping prevent this. If a patient does develop post-concussion syndrome, the role becomes one of monitoring and helping to evaluate a safe return-to-play timeline.
Enlisting the services of a professional concussion management team ensures that your concussion recovery is not only swift, but safe. By monitoring the progress of the individual, concussion recovery helps to ensure that further injury is avoided and that working towards a concussion-free future is possible.
To find out more about concussion recovery or to learn more about the importance of working with a professional concussion management team, contact Athletic Edge Sports Medicine by calling 416 800 0800, or visit www.aesmphysiotherapytoronto.ca