A concussion is a complex pathophysiological process that affects the brain. It is caused by traumatic biomechanical forces. These forces can be caused by motor vehicle collisions, sports or recreational activities, falls or assaults. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 1-3 million concussions caused by sports and recreational activity in the United States annually. A concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury. When someone gets concussed there is impairment of neurologic function. This will result in a variety of signs and symptoms.
While this injury is commonly thought of as being caused by a direct hit to the head, concussion isn’t limited to contact to the head. A person can be struck in the body causing the head to move rapidly back and forth or rotate, and a concussion can result.
In the past, concussions were downplayed as minor bumps to the head. But as medical science has advanced, we are learning that concussions can have a severe impact on a patient and cause prolonged and sometimes debilitating symptoms. It is important to note that while some people lose consciousness, most people with a concussion do not lose consciousness.
If you are think that you may have suffered a concussion, you should be evaluated by your primary care physician or by medical providers in an emergency room.
Concussion prevents the brain from working normally. The symptoms it causes can affect you for days, or even months, after the initial injury. Children, young adults and seniors are at a higher risk for concussions and may take longer to recover after a concussion.
The (CDC) recommends that you know your concussion ABCs:
Assess the situation.
Be alert for signs and symptoms.
Contact a health care provider.
You should not return to work, school, sports or recreational activities until you are evaluated by a health care provider experienced in treating concussions.