Concussion is the sudden but short-lived loss of mental function that occurs after a blow or other injury to the head. It is the most common but least serious type of brain injury.
The medical term for concussion is minor traumatic brain injury.
Some people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. But other people won't. With rest, most people fully recover from a concussion. Some people recover within a few hours. Other people take a few weeks to recover.
It's important to know that after a concussion the brain is more sensitive to damage. So while you are recovering, be sure to avoid activities that might injure you again.
In rare cases, concussions cause more serious problems. Repeated concussions or a severe concussion may lead to long-lasting problems with movement, learning, or speaking.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms of concussion include:
Thinking and remembering
Not thinking clearly
Feeling slowed down
Not being able to concentrate
Not being able to remember new information
Nausea and vomiting
Fuzzy or blurry vision
Sensitivity to light or noise
Feeling tired or having no energy
Emotional and mood
Easily upset or angered
Nervous or anxious
Sleeping more than usual
Sleeping less than usual
Having a hard time falling asleep
Diagnosis is generally a hard task as there is a number of different symptoms that can indicate concussion. Health professionals are clearly the best people to seek help from if you are suffering from these symptom, it is always better to air on the side of caution. The health professional will run specific alertness, verbal and consciousness tests with you and your responses will give a good indication of whether you are concussed or not. A CT scan can be used to confirm concussion but this is generally not used.
In the immediate post-injury phase, there is no other treatment for concussion other than rest. A concussion is essentially an energy deficit inside the brain, complete with ion imbalances and blood flow abnormalities. Rest has two very important features when it comes to concussion. First, it keeps the athlete from putting themselves in harms way until they have recovered sufficiently to avoid a devastating second injury. Secondly, rest allows the athlete to get a jump-start on their recovery so that all available energy is allocated to helping recover imbalanced brain cells.
Rehabilitate suggests that you rest completely, meaning that you should put yourself in no situations were there is a possibility of banging your head, for at least 48 hours. After this you can start minor exercise and gradually build up to pre-injury level over a two week period. If you ever feel any pain, stop immediately and try again the next day.
It is very important that you do not carry on doing activity 'through' the pain as this can cause very serious brain injuries.