Heads Up Athletes: 3 Things Orthopedic ONE wants YOU to Know about Concussions

Photo courtesy of The Kathmandu Post

1. Concussions are REAL brain injuries!

  • A concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiological process that affects the brain, typically induced by trauma to the brain; either due to a direct or indirect blow to the head or body.
  • Getting your “bell rung” is a term from the past. Concussions are serious injuries that need to be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

2. There are certain signs and symptoms to look for if a concussion is suspected

  • Headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, neck pain, blurred vision, balance issues, sensitivity to light and/or noise, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability, emotional disturbances, changes in sleep, appetite, and/or energy levels.
  • Any and all observed symptoms should be reported to a healthcare professional and monitored until resolved.

3. Brain Rest is the most important treatment immediately following a concussion:

  • Just as an athlete would rest an injured knee, one must treat this as an athletic injury and rest the brain following a concussion.
  • Cognitive (brain) rest includes:
    • Time away from school and/or work
    • No, or reduced homework
    • No, or reduced reading
    • Limiting activities such as computers, video games, loud music, cell phones, social media, television, etc
    • No exercise, athletics or exertion until cleared by a healthcare professional
    • Increased rest and sleep
  • When appropriate, a healthcare professional will progress an athlete through a graduated return to play protocol.

If you have experienced an injury that does not require immediate attention, would like to schedule an injury consultation, or if you have general questions regarding sports medicine care, please feel free to contact our Sports Injury Hotline. The Certified Athletic Trainer on call will receive messages 7 days a week, and will return calls between the hours of 8 AM and 7 PM. Click here to download a copy of our Sports Injury Hotline Card.