Football player with helmet knocked off - Concussion – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment- The Brain Rehab Clinic

Concussion – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

More than 1 million Americans are treated for concussion every year. Concussions affect people of all ages and can be life-changing, career-ending events, especially for athletes. Concussions typically occur while playing an organized sport (as a result, more than 50 percent of concussions occur in children)1 but they can be caused by anything that forces the head to move rapidly including falls and car accidents. While not life-threatening, any injury to your brain should be considered serious and properly treated.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) caused when an external force causes the head to move rapidly. In this circumstance, the cerebrospinal fluid that normally cushions the brain is insufficient and your brain contacts your skull. The resulting bruising and tissue damage will heal with time; however, without targeted rehabilitation, your brain may reroute function around the damaged tissue resulting in long-term neural deficits.

I Hit My Head, How Do I Know If I’ve Suffered A Concussion?

Symptoms of concussion vary and depend on the part of the brain that incurred the injury. The mid-brain is most commonly affected resulting in: dizziness, decreased reaction times, sensitivity to light and sound, clumsiness, and mood/behavior changes. Damage to other parts of the brain could result in flashing lights, “seeing stars”, unequal pupil dilation, and difficulty reading. The CDC recommends that a provider who is experienced in evaluating concussion should evaluate any person who experiences any of these symptoms following a jolt to the head2.

Left untreated, concussions can manifest themselves for years after the initial injury in the form of insomnia or frequent heartburn.

Rehabilitation and Available Therapy

Until recently the standard treatment for concussions has been “go home and rest”. Depending on whom you see, you may still receive the same treatment protocol. However, “go home and rest” will do little to rehabilitate the damaged area of the brain.

At The Brain Rehab Clinic, we begin your visit with a comprehensive neurologic exam. The examination will pinpoint areas of the brain that were damaged and we utilize this information to develop a treatment plan specific to your specific needs. We will provide appropriate therapies that target and rehabilitate the damaged areas, returning you to full function. These therapies could include: GyroStim, RPSS, vestibular rehabilitation exercises, and nutritional supplements that will speed up the healing process.

Even if 10 years have passed since your concussion you will benefit from our comprehensive neuro examination and targeted rehabilitation therapies. Schedule your appointment.

Additional Reading:

  1. A Bang To The Brain – What We Know About Concussions – National Institutes of Health
  2. Concussion Information Sheet For Parents – Centers for Disease Control
  3. Concussion – MedlinePlus
  4. Traumatic Brain Injury (From our sister clinic in Southern Oregon)
  5. Relationship Between Cognitive Assessment and Balance Measures in Adolescents Referred for Vestibular Physical Therapy After Concussion – Scholarly Article (Abstract)
  6. Vestibular Dysfunction after Subconcussive Head Impact – Scholarly Article (Full Text)