Concussion is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). In a concussion, some delicate parts of the brain are injured by bouncing on the walls of the skull and it usually happens either from a direct blow to the head or with sudden forceful head movement, as in a whiplash. 

 

 

 

Diagnosis

There are no tests or scans to detect concussion so diagnosis is based on the person’s history, signs and symptoms. In a concussion, usual areas of the body that may present with symptoms are the neck and upper back, but related lesions can be found anywhere in the body- from the sacrum to your internal organs, depending on the nature of the force and impact to one’s head.

Immediately after a significant concussion, a  person can be observed with incoordination, unresponsiveness, and a blank stare. 

Milder symptoms may include the following and can present immediately or several hours after the injury: loss of consciousness, headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, memory issues and brain fog, trouble concentrating, mood swings, irritability, slowed reaction time, nausea and vomiting.
   

 What to do immediately after

Here are the 4 Rs of concussion management;

  • - Recognise (the signs and symptoms of concussion) 
  • Remove (the person from play/situation)
  • Refer (to a medical doctor to confirm diagnosis and provide treatment)
  • Recover (before returning to school/work and sport)

Concussion symptoms usually subside in about 2 weeks with an initial 24-48 hours mental and physical rest after the injury followed by gradual reintroduction of normal activities. However, a number of people can have lingering symptoms for months or even years after their injury. If you have any of the above symptoms you should see a practitioner as soon as possible, early treatment leads to better long term outcomes.