A baseline concussion assessment is a pre-season examination that gauges an athlete’s normal brain function before participation in sports. It is conducted by a trained health professional and includes tests that assess cognitive abilities, balance, and brain function. The results provide a “baseline” against which post-injury assessments can be compared in the event of a concussion. This comparison aids in diagnosing the severity of the concussion and informing treatment decisions. The goal is to ensure safe return-to-play decisions for athletes after a head injury.
Indeed, a concussion can impact mental health. After a concussion, some individuals experience mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability, or even personality changes. These alterations could result from the physical trauma to the brain, the range of symptoms experienced, or the necessary changes and adaptations during the recovery period. They could be temporary or more long-lasting. If an individual experiences such mental health changes following a concussion, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider. Incorporating mental health support as part of the recovery process is crucial to comprehensive concussion management. Our Edmonton clinic offers the vast support and assistance needed to support you or your loved one.
Common concussion symptoms can include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, confusion, sensitivity to light or noise, and changes in mood or behavior. In some cases, concussion symptoms may not appear for hours or even days after the injury occurred. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have a concussion, it is important to seek medical attention.
If you suspect that you’ve had a concussion, the most important first step is to stop whatever activity you’re doing, especially if it’s a sport or physical activity. Continuing to participate can put you at risk for a more serious brain injury. Next, you should seek immediate medical attention. A healthcare professional can assess your symptoms and provide guidance on necessary rest and recovery strategies. Remember, not all symptoms appear immediately and can develop over the next hours or days, so continued monitoring is essential.
While rare, concussions can potentially increase the risk of seizures, especially if the injury involves a more severe brain trauma. It is important to monitor for any seizure activity and seek medical attention if seizures occur.
Recovery from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) largely depends on the severity of the injury, the person’s overall health, and the quality of treatment received. While full or near-full recovery is expected in mild cases, such as concussions, severe TBIs can result in lasting physical, cognitive, and emotional changes. The recovery process includes initial medical stabilization followed by rehabilitation to regain as much function as possible. Despite potential long-term disabilities in severe cases, improvements can continue over years, albeit at a slower pace. Ongoing research into neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation is expanding potential recovery possibilities. Always consult with a healthcare professional for the most current TBI recovery information.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also be caused by a fall or a hit to the body that causes the head to move suddenly. Concussions can cause a number of symptoms, both short and long-term.
Yes, sustaining multiple concussions over time, even if individually they might seem minor, can indeed have a cumulative effect on the brain. This is sometimes known as “second impact syndrome,” particularly when a second concussion occurs before the brain has fully healed from the first. Over time, repeated concussions can lead to prolonged recovery times and increase the risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated head traumas. It underscores the importance of full recovery before returning to activities that risk additional head injury.
While concussions can happen at any age, older adults may be at higher risk due to factors such as decreased balance and age-related changes in brain structure. Falls prevention strategies, maintaining a safe environment, and regular exercise to improve strength and balance can help reduce the risk of concussions in older adults.
Concussion symptoms can linger for a while after the concussion has technically healed. There is no definitive answer to this question, as concussion symptoms can vary from person to person. However, in general, if a concussion sufferer feels like they are back to their normal self both physically and mentally, then they likely are concussion-free. If concussion symptoms persist after a reasonable amount of time (i.e. several weeks), it is advisable to speak with a doctor to rule out any other potential causes for the lingering symptoms.
The recovery time from a concussion can widely vary depending on the severity of the concussion and individual factors, including age, overall health, and history of previous concussions. Most people typically recovered within 7-10 days. However, some individuals may experience post-concussion syndrome, where symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and cognitive difficulties persist for weeks or months following the injury.