CONCUSSION – More Than Just a Bump on the Head

Common Signs & Symptoms of Concussion

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Memory difficulty or forgetfulness

Most Common Questions After a Concussion

  • Stumbling

  • Vomiting

  • Blurred vision

  • Anger/ Irritability

  • Confusion

  • Feeling out of it

What is the first thing to do if a concussion is suspected?

Remove from the practice, game, or competition. Then, onsite evaluation by athletic trainer. If an ATC is unavailable diagnosis by medical professional is warranted.

Does the athlete need to go to the ER?

An ER visit is necessary if the athlete is unconscious or has persistent vomiting.

Does the athlete need to limit all activities until symptoms resolve?

It is important to limit screen time and general activity level for the first 24- 48 hours. At that time it is important to initiate a controlled return to daily activities including school and some low level physical activity. This should be monitored and guided by an athletic trainer, physical therapist, or medical doctor.

Can the athlete take any medication?

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken as directed for symptoms. NSAIDs (anti-inflammatories) are NOT recommended. These include ibuprofen/ Advil/ Motrin or naproxen/ Alieve.

Can the athlete “sleep it off”?

Regular sleep is very important. It is ok for an athlete to nap given they are able to maintain regular nightly sleep/wake time frames.

What is the treatment for concussion?

Just as you would rehab and progress return to activity after a strained muscle, it is important to appropriately rehab a concussion. Your treatment must consider the following:

  • A balance of rest vs. activity

  • The cervical spine (neck)

  • Balance

  • Vision

  • Aerobic activity

What is Second Impact Syndrome?

Second Impact Syndrome is a life threatening condition that can occur when an athlete sustains a second head injury before the first has fully healed. It can be difficult to determine when an athlete is ready to return because you cannot see a concussion heal.

What is the ImPACT Test and why should an athlete take it before the season?

The ImPACT Test is the most trusted and most recognized computer based neurocognitive assessment in the world. It has been specifically designed for the management of sports-related concussions. The ImPACT test is quick, easy to administer, inexpensive and an effective means to provide baseline measurements with which the health care professional can compare in order to assess whether the brain has returned to “normal” after injury.

Terms to know specific to ImPACT Testing:
Baseline testing: performed at the beginning of the season to establish an individual's norm

Post-test: administered after a concussion and allow the physician to accurately gauge a return to normal brain function. This helps to determine when it is safe for an athlete to return to participation and reduces the chances of Second Impact Syndrome.