November 26, 2015 Hyun J. (June) Park, PT, DPT

I have noticed that over the past few years concussions have received a great deal of attention. If you haven’t suffered one personally I will bet that you know at least one or two other people who have. The issue that is on everyone’s mind – in the medical and sports worlds – is the long-term problems associated with this injury. It is estimated that in sports alone, more than 3.8 million concussions occur each year – wow.

This made me decide to write another two part series, this time focusing on the signs and symptoms of concussions, and as always – how physical therapy can help if you (or someone you know) have suffered from one.

What Is A Concussion?

Concussion is a brain injury that occurs when the brain is shaken inside the skull, causing changes in the brain’s chemistry and energy supply. A concussion might happen as a result of a direct blow to the head or an indirect force, such as whiplash. People think that in all cases you lose consciousness, but that is not true – you do not lose consciousness in all cases.

Signs and Symptoms

There are many symptoms related to concussion, and they can affect your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Physical symptoms can include:
-Headache
-Dizziness
-Blurred vision
-Balance issues
-Nausea/vomiting
-Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
-Sensitivity to light and sound

Cognitive symptoms may include:
-Difficulty with short-term or long-term memory
-Confusion
-Slowed “processing” or “fogginess”
-Difficulty concentrating

Emotional symptoms may include:
– Irritability
– Restlessness
– Anxiety
– Depression
– Mood swings
– Aggression
– Decreased tolerance of stress

So – that concludes part one of my two part series on concussions. Next week (part two) will focus on diagnoses, how a physical therapist can help, and what kind of physical therapist you need.

If you think you might have a concussion:

– Seek medical care immediately!
– Avoid any additional trauma to your head.
– Limit activities of all kinds, including school and work.

Please be proactive – this is a serious injury and you need to make sure that you are taken care of in order to prevent further injury. As always if you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to give us a call or fill out our contact form online.