What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is caused by physical force on the head by a bump, jolt, or hit that causes the brain and head to move back and forth in a rapid motion. This movement can make the brain twist or bounce around in the skull, causing chemical changes in the brain that sometimes damage or stretch brain cells.

What are symptoms of a concussion?

Immediate symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, fatigue, or unconsciousness. In certain severe concussions, symptoms can linger for weeks or even months due to a complication called post-concussion syndrome. Physiotherapy is essential to relieve these symptoms and get back to feeling normal again.

How common are concussions?

Americans and Canadians sustain approximately 3.8 million concussions annually from sports and other recreational activities. At least one fourth of concussion sufferers fail to get assessed by medical personnel, so make sure you get help as soon as possible after an injury.

Who is most susceptible to concussions?

Athletes (especially young athletes) who are frequently engaged in sports like hockey, rugby, football, basketball, etc. are most at risk for concussion injuries. Other common incidences are car accidents, bicycle accidents, and falls, so concussions can happen to anyone.

When should you see a health practitioner?

You should book a visit after any substantial head injury, even if emergency assistance isn’t required. Many physiotherapists are trained to spot the signs of a mild traumatic brain injury and support the patient in a successful recovery.

More quick facts on concussions:

  • Most cases of traumatic brain injury are concussions.
  • Those who have already had one concussion are more susceptible to having another.
  • For about 9 in 10 people with concussions, symptoms disappear within 7 to 10 days.
  • People who suffer from concussions generally fully recover quickly. However, in some cases, symptoms can last for days or weeks.
  • Loss of consciousness is thought to occur in less than 10% of concussions.