Concussions

Concussions

Description Of The Injury: A concussion is a head injury that results in a temporary loss of function in the brain. It’s etymology is the Latin word concutere that means to vibrate rapidly or with violence. The grades of concussion exist to assist in defining differing levels of concussions. Grade 1 concussions involve a loss of memory for less than 30 minutes but no lack of consciousness. A grade 2 concussion involves a less than five minute loss of consciousness and loss of memory for 30 minutes to 24 hours. A grade 3 concussion involves a loss of consciousness for more than five minutes as well as a loss of memory for more than 24 hours.

Injury Symptoms: Symptoms are numerous but usually disappear before a few weeks have passed. Physical symptoms of concussion include headache, vomiting, trouble maintaining balance or dizzy sensations. Visual symptoms might be flashing lights, blurry vision or seeing double. Cognitive symptoms are often trouble paying attention or focusing on a task. Confusion can often occur immediately after a concussion and is characterized by difficulty answering simple questions, slurred speaking and nonsensical language.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

In most cases, treatment is unnecessary in cases of concussion as the symptoms normally go away in less than a few weeks, often in a few days. If a headache is present, an over the counter drug such as aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen can be administered. The most important at home treatment is adequate sleep during night and plenty of rest during the day time.

Professional Medical Treatments:

In serious cases of concussion, medical attention may be needed to monitor the condition should it be a more serious brain injury but there are no medical procedures used to treat concussion. If giving treatment at home, medical attention should be sought if the concussion is accompanied by a severe headache, weakness in the arms or legs, convulsions, bleeding from the ears or deafness or if such symptoms emerge later in treatment.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

Physical therapy is not necessary when treating concussion although it may be needed if a more serious brain injury has been suffered. Any weakness in extremities that could be treated by gentle physical therapy is indicative of a much more serious condition and medical attention should be given to the patient immediately.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

The most important preventative technique for concussions is the use of a helmet to reduce the force of head impact when falling or striking objects. Older individuals that suffer concussions because of falls may begin lower body exercises to strengthen the muscles in the legs and hips to prevent such falls from occurring in the future. Hard soled shoes that do not affect balance can also be used to prevent falls or trips.

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