A concussion is not very alarming at very first sight. But you should not ignore its developing symptoms, and you should get it treated the right way. Let’s learn more.
A concussion is mild traumatic brain damage happened by a bump, forceful jolt, or blows to your head. Nowadays, anyone can have such brain damage, from infants to elder ones. Headache is the most common symptom, which typically recovers within 14 to 21 days. Although recovery plans are unique to each person, they all involve mental and physical rest and a gradual return to activity.
This type of mild traumatic brain damage stretches and bruises nerves and blood vessels, causing chemical changes in your brain that result in a temporary loss of normal brain function.
A single blow cannot cause any enduring injury to your brain. According to a study, having multiple injuries over a lifetime can cause structural changes in your brain.
How is a concussion diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask about the event leading to your head injury and symptoms and perform a neurological exam. The neurological exam will check your:
- Neurological function and reflexes
- Vision, eye movement, reaction to light
- Balance and coordination
- Neck muscles for their motion and tenderness
Verbal, written, and the computerized test is needed to check your:
- Thinking ability
- Problem-solving skills
- Memory and concentration
You will also be asked if you have experienced mood changes, sleeping changes, or any changes in behavior.
What tests assess an athlete’s brain to check for concussion?
After the hands-on neurological examination is complete, another neuropsychological concussion test may happen to check the ability of an athlete student to go back to school and sport.
ImPACT neuropsychological test
The cognitive test and the immediate post-concussion assessment tool(IMPACT) is a management tool used to help analyze and assess student-athletes. This computerized concussion test measures the visual and verbal memory of students of an athlete as well as the reaction time and processing speed.
The 30-minute test is ideally performed before the sports season starts (a baseline test) and after a head injury (at various time points). Evaluating the test results and comparing them with the baseline test helps care providers (healthcare, educational or sports organizations) document brain function and see if it has returned to a student athlete’s healthy normal.
Hospital or organization app
Some sports health centers within hospital systems have developed concussion apps. These tablet-based, mobile tools can report and assess injury and symptoms.
After baseline data are collected, the app aids in documenting the description of the injury of student-athletes, tracking symptoms over time, detecting loss of brain and memory function, and helping guide the athlete to a return to physical activity and get back to the sport.
The app compares assessments of balance, reaction time, information processing, coordination, memory, and vision after an injury of the athletic baseline and normative data.
How is the mild brain injury treated?
You need proper physical and mental rest. Although concussion treatment Austin Tx will need more rest and sleep than a regular sleep, you do not need 100% complete rest. Research has shown that too much mental rest can lengthen the recovery period and make you more sensitive to activities when you return to them.
Instead of stopping activities entirely, learn to recognize the triggers that bring the injury symptoms. Start back slowly, in small amounts, and if any symptoms occur, back off and rest.
Here are some activities that can induce symptoms, including
- Texting/spending time looking at your smartphone screen
- Watching television
- Playing video games
- Listening to loud music
- Doing any physical activity
If you notice symptoms after a mild injury or shock, it is best not to wait to seek treatment. If you are the type to (wait it out) person and see if things get better, then it is recommended that you not wait for more than three months. After that, it is very unexpected that your symptoms will improve, so it makes sense to pursue active concussion rehabilitation and post-concussion syndrome (especially if those symptoms interfere with your everyday life).
As it turns out, there are a lot of therapies you can use during rehab. The therapies that you need for your injury depending on the kind of symptoms you have. A good clinic or doctor will use a combination and intensity of therapy designed for concussion rehabilitation to help you recover rather than teach you how to manage symptoms.
However, the consequences of a mild brain injury can be unbearable and last for days, weeks, or even longer. These injuries cause your brain not to function normally for a brief period and result in the signs and symptoms of concussion.
Automobile accidents and sports injuries are typical reasons for mild brain injury—a sport that needs some kind of contact that can result in a brain injury. At Advantage Health Systems, we weave in physical therapy exercises with therapies like occupational therapy, music therapy, massage therapy, etc., which helps treat concussion.