Brain Injury Awareness Month: How to Tell If You Have a Concussion

Brain Injury Awareness Month: How to Tell If You Have a Concussion

Each year, approximately 1.4 million people in the United States sustain a traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries range from mild to severe; concussions are considered a mild traumatic brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.

Motor vehicle accidents, falls and sports injuries are common causes of concussions. Though any sport that involves contact can also result in a concussion, particularly football, hockey and soccer are the most common.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion

Signs and symptoms that may occur shortly after sustaining a concussion may include:

  • Headache or feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ringing in the ears

Treatment options for concussions

All forms of concussions are serious. It’s important to seek medical attention from a local urgent care facility or emergency room as soon as possible to avoid complications. It’s very likely your urgent care or emergency room physician will recommend follow-up care and treatment from a primary care physician. If you play sports regularly, it’s especially important to seek continued care from a medical professional that is specially trained and experienced in the assessment and management of sports-related concussions

March is brain injury awareness month. A time to recognize the growing prevalence of brain injuries, empower the community and destigmatize the injuries. If you or a loved one has sustained a concussion, or repeated concussions in the past, the physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers encourage you to share your experience. This will help others know they are not alone in their journey and help pass along seasoned advice and support.

If you are in need of expert concussion management, contact the skilled sports medicine physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers at 909-536-1493. Our physicians are committed to providing excellent care from the acute injury to return-to-play (RTP).

Concussion Management and Recovery

Concussion Management

School is back in session and that means kids and young adults across America are lacing up their cleats and heading toward the playing field. Participating in a sport is a great way to teach teens and young adults leadership, confidence and teamwork, but it’s important to keep the potential risks in mind.

There are approximately 300,000 sports-related concussions among high school athletes each year in the United States. Surprisingly, only a small fraction—about 25 percent—gets medical care. With proper rehabilitation, most mild to moderate concussions can be completely healed.

Common signs and symptoms of concussions

Here are a few signs and symptoms of a concussion, so you can identify them and seek medical care as soon as possible:

  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Nausea
  • Persistent pressure in the head
  • Repeating questions
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Vomiting

Concussion management

Your brain is a muscle and, like all muscles, it will take time to heal from an injury. It’s important to rest and limit activity for about 72 hours following a mild to moderate concussion. This will give your brain a rest, lessen symptoms and help it heal. After the initial three days, it’s very important to resume light activities to avoid feeling worse and delaying recovery.

Anyone who has suffered a concussion should not return to moderate or strenuous activities or sports without doctor approval. Improper healing from an initial concussion may cause a condition known as second impact syndrome. This condition increases your chances of severe brain swelling and may be fatal, which is why it’s always best to get proper medical treatment for any head injury or trauma.

If you or someone you know has suffered a severe concussion, it’s important to understand that the spine may also be compromised. Watch for things like difficulty breathing, nerve pain, headaches and varying degrees of paralysis, which can indicate a spinal injury. Concussion management at Pomona Valley Health Centers is second to none when it comes to caring for your sports-related injury. For more information about our sports medicine services, please call 909-536-1493.