Concussions: What to do post-injury and how to prevent concussions
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), meaning an injury to the head that affects how the brain functions. Typically, a concussion is caused by an outside force, usually a blow to the head that “shakes” the brain causing chemical changes and/or damage to brain cells. There are three levels to a concussion: Grade 1 (mild), Grade 2 (moderate), and Grade 3 (severe). While there are different severity levels of concussions, even the mild cases should be taken seriously and should seek out attention from a medical professional.
What are the signs and symptoms of concussions?
The symptoms of a concussion vary among the situation and the extent of the injury. Below is Table 1 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the observed signs and reported symptoms post-concussion. The signs and symptoms of a concussion are not limited to those on this list, everyone’s situation is different meaning there will be different outcomes of the injury.
Table 1: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
What is the recovery process?
Whether you’re an athlete or not, you must follow a return program to ensure you are safely returning to play, school, or work. A concussion doctor in Chicago, a physical therapist, and physician will work with you to create a plan and therapy guide for your recovery. Typically, there will be a process along the premises of rest, light activity, moderate activity, then back to regular activity.
How can I prevent concussions?
Prevention is crucial for concussions since the severity of a concussion increases with each injury. Depending on the sport, there are specific prevention measures you can ask your physical therapist about to reduce the risk of injury. Below a general list of things to keep in mind when going through your day to day.
Wearing protective gear during sports and other recreational activities
Buckling your seatbelt
Keeping the floors clear of tripping hazards
Protect your children in the home (For Example: block off stairways or installing window guards)
Educating yourself and others about concussions
Call today or schedule your individual phone consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. You may also book for an appointment today.