Participating in sports is always good for keeping in shape, learning how to work in a team setting, and being disciplined. While there are always safety precautions while playing any sport, accidents can happen. One of the most common sport injuries that occur is concussion. By definition a concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a blow to the head that can result in a temporary loss of normal brain function. Concussions have a higher risk factor in collision sports such as football and hockey. Helmets are designed to prevent skull fractures, not concussions.
Common symptoms of a concussion that might sound familiar:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Mental fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
However, there are symptoms that you may not realize are also results from a concussion. These symptoms may not always show up immediately but can occur a few days after the incident:
- Irritability and other personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
- Psychological adjustment problems
- Disorders of taste and smell
- Concentration and memory complaints
At NJ Spine and Wellness we can not just help determine if you have a concussion but help with treatment and get you back on your feet as you recover! We will make returning to work, play, or school as safe as possible.
The most accurate way to assess a concussion is by making sure a baseline test is done prior to sport or activity, then comparing the results with a post-concussion re-examination. Baseline Testing is extremely important in the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. It examines a person’s memory, reaction time, impulse control, ability to focus, cognition, and balance when a person is healthy so that if a concussion is suspected, we re-test and compare results to their baseline scores. Our concussion management program includes the following evaluations:
- ImPACT Testing – This is a computerized test that measures your brain’s neurocognitive ability before and after an injury. While we can’t predict when a concussion would be suffered, ImPACT tests are recommended for athletes or people who work in an environment where head injuries may possibly occur.
- BESS Test– Balance Error Scoring System is a physical test that assesses postural stability (balance).
- SAC Test – Standardized Assessment of Concussion detects changes across multiple domains of cognitive functioning (orientation, immediate memory, delayed recall, external maneuvers) that are susceptible to the immediate effects of concussions.
Research has shown that getting the athlete started on a controlled sub threshold exercise by a healthcare professional within 24-48 hours following an injury has improved outcomes and decrease time spent out of school and sports.
If you or someone that you know has been experiencing these symptoms after a collision/blow to the head whether it was during a sporting event or any other accident, the person should rest and not participate in any vigorous activities until they consult with a health-care professional. We will ensure you return to your life better, faster, and safer. Contact us today for consultation with our concussion specialists!