Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Concussions
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. Although it affects your brain function, you may have a concussion and not know it or you may discover it days or weeks later. You may or may not lose consciousness as a result of the injury, but there is a range of possible physical and psychological effects. Even though it is a common traumatic brain injury, a concussion is serious and should not be taken lightly. Contact sports such as football, soccer, and hockey are higher risk activity for concussions. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that up to 3.8 million concussions related to sports and recreational activities occur each year in the United States. School sports are starting up soon. If someone you love is participating in sports, it is important to know about concussions.
Most concussions are the result of a blow to the head, a fall, or some other injury that jolts or shakes the brain such as a violent shaking of the head and upper body. The blow may leave cuts or bruises on the head, but sometimes there are no other visible signs of a possible brain injury.
Symptoms which may indicate a concussion include:
- Head or Neck pain
- Slowness or difficulty in thinking, concentrating, remembering, speaking, or making decisions
- Exhaustion, fatigue, or lack of energy and motivation
- Fluctuating sleep patterns
- Unexplained mood changes
- Blurred vision, ringing ears, or sensitivity to light and sound
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care. Treatment usually includes rest, rehab, and reducing activities in order to give the brain time to recover. A doctor may also prescribe medication and therapy to help with headaches or nausea. Most people recover well from a concussion, although for some especially kids and older adults, recovery may take longer.
Before beginning a contact sport, a player should have a pre-season concussion test. In the event of a future injury, these results can serve as a baseline to determine the nature or extent of an injury. Here at Hudson Physicians, we provide ImPACT neuropsychological concussion testing in our Sports Medicine department, as well as expert evaluation and medical treatment by our Concussion Specialists to help injured athletes recover.
We work directly with area schools to provide the best care to all athletes. We also offer baseline testing to schools, club teams, and individual athletes.
Dr. Likness performs non-surgical orthopedic care to get his patients back in action. He runs a state-of-the-art sports concussion program and has served as physician for many teams from high school to the professional level.
Dr. Likness is Medical Director of several local races and community events, and enjoys promoting wellness and healthy lifestyles in our community.
Learn more about sports physicals, sports procedures & treatments, and Hudson Physicians sports concussion programs.