A concussion can occur due to a wide range of activities or injuries. Also called a mild traumatic brain injury, or MTBI for short, a concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head and body. Whether you fell and hit your head on a solid object or collided heads with another individual, a concussion can be possible.
Effects from a concussion are usually temporary, but they can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.
If you are an athlete or someone who regularly participates in physical activity, you’re at a much higher risk of receiving a concussion than someone who isn’t as active. All sports come with the inherent risk of receiving a concussion, but in the United States, Football and hockey have the highest number of concussion cases. High school football accounts for 47 percent of all reported sports concussions, with 33 percent of concussions occurring during practice.
Symptoms that point towards a concussion can oftentimes be subtle and may not show up immediately.
Physical symptoms can include:
- Blurry Vision
Other symptoms can include:
- Amnesia leading up to the traumatic event
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms after going through a traumatic impact, it is important to contact your doctor right away. After 1 or 2 days, symptoms can become much worse and could lead to larger problems down the road.
What Causes a Concussion?
There are a few different ways that a concussion can occur. The first way is caused by a direct impact injury to the head in any direction. This can be from colliding helmets in football to falling down and hitting your head on the sidewalk. A concussion can occur from an open or closed head injury. Rapid acceleration and deceleration can result in a concussion as well. A car wreck often times can contribute to a concussion due to the sudden deceleration of the body. When the head jolts forward quickly, the brain can shift and impact the inside of the skull, thus creating bruising on the brain. The last type of concussion results from a blast injury. This occurs when a shockwave from an explosion, travels through the body. Typically, this type of concussion is common in soldiers who are close to an explosion at the time of detonation. The shockwave travels through the body and collides with the brain causing it to vibrate and collide with the inside of the skull.
Things That Help Prevent Concussions.
Luckily there are multiple ways you can prevent concussions.
- Wear the proper protective gear depending on the activity that you are doing. If you are playing football or riding a bike, make sure the helmet you’re wearing fits correctly. Having a helmet that is too big or too small will not properly protect you in the case of an accident.
- Always be sure to buckle your seatbelt when riding or driving a vehicle. This will minimize the chance that your head collides with an object during an accident.
- Exercise regularly to maintain proper balance and strength in your muscles.
We Can Help
Our Sports Medicine team uses specialized training and effective methods to help prevent injuries such as concussions. From weekend warriors and active seniors to the student or collegiate athletes, our team is prepared to serve you. If you believe you have suffered a concussion or you want to learn more about how they are caused, prevention tactics or risk factors, visit our website or call our office to speak with one of our physicians.