What Defines a Concussion?
A concussion is defined as an alteration in the physiological processing center of the brain which results in a myriad of signs and symptoms. Concussions occur due to impacts between the skull and brain. Impacts do not have to occur directly to the head for a concussion to occur. Whiplash mechanisms are another common way concussions can occur during athletic competition.
Think about an egg. The yolk inside is the brain and it's floating in spinal fluid (the egg white) which is protected by the egg shell (skull). If you shake the egg violently, the yolk inside will become disrupted but the shell will remain unharmed. Just like with a concussion, the brain will collide with the skull and not function properly, but the skull will more than likely be unharmed.
What are the Grading Scales for Concussion?
Concussions are no longer being categorized as a ding to the head and medical professionals are moving away from grading the severity of a concussion. Concussions must be considered serious and handled based upon each athlete's presentation of signs and symptoms.
What are the Signs/Symptoms of a Concussion?
Someone who has suffered from a concussion can demonstrate signs and symptoms consisting of but not limited to:
- Sensitivity of Noise
- Feeling in a fog
- Retro-grade Amnesia
- Antero-grade Amnesia
- Loss of Consciousness
- Sensitivity to Light
What Should I do if a Concussion Occurs?
Always stay on the side of caution when making decisions regarding concussions. Remove the athlete from play and monitor their signs and symptoms.
Ensure the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating concussions and keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury.
Do not return the individual to play until a health care professional says they are symptom-free and it's OK to return to play.
Concussion Therapy is offered at: