A concussion is a moderate traumatic brain injury that may occur after receiving a blow to your head or after sustaining a whiplash-type injury which caused your head and brain to shake back and forth quickly. A concussion leads to an fluctuated mental state which may include falling unconscious.
Your physician will assess your symptoms and signs, have a look at your medical history, and perform a neurological examination. You may not know that you have a concussion since it may take hours or even days for the signs and symptoms to prevent itself.
Tests that may be conducted or recommended by your doctor may include:
After your physician has asked you questions about the injury, he may do a neurological exam which includes checking of your:
- Strength and sensation
Cognitive testing may involve evaluating several factors, such as your:
- Ability to remember information
Your physician may recommend brain imaging if you have symptoms that include:
- Severe headaches
- Ongoing vomiting
- Symptoms that are progressing
Brain imaging is done to evaluate the brain right after the injury and to determine whether the injury is severe and has resulted in swelling or bleeding in your skull. Professionals at the New York Sports Medicine Institute may do a CT (cranial computerized tomography) scan or several X-rays to get cross-sectional images of your brain and skull. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan may be conducted to evaluate fluctuations in the brain or for diagnosing possible complications that may occur after the concussion. An MRI utilizes powerful radio waves and magnets to take detailed images of the brain.
You might have to stay in hospital during the night for observation after sustaining a concussion. If you are permitted to go home, someone must keep an eye on you and check on you for twenty-four hours to make sure the symptoms are not getting worse. The caregiver may have to wake you up regularly to ensure that you are waking up normally.
The most efficient treatment for a concussion is rest and permitting your brain to recover. This entail mental and physical rest. No activities that may worsen the symptoms may be engaged in, i.e., sports, vigorous movements, and general physical exertion. The rest period also includes limiting actions that necessitate mental concentration, or thinking like watching TV, playing video games, reading, using a PC, texting if these doings trigger the symptoms to worsen. Your doctor may prescribe shortened workdays and reduced workload until you’ve recovered from the concussion. As the symptoms get better, you may slowly add more activities that entail thinking such as work assignment and increase time spent at work. Your physician will give you the go-ahead when it is safe to continue doing light physical activity. Eventually, once all the symptoms and signs of the concussion have disappeared, you and your physician can discuss what you need to do to engage in sports again safely. Getting back to sports too quickly may increase the risk of sustaining a second concussion or a possibly fatal brain injury. For headaches, you can take pain relievers like acetaminophen but steer clear from ibuprofen and aspirin, as it can advance the risk of bleeding.