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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Concussion

Concussions are relatively common injuries, especially among children and young adults who play sports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that concussions are actually a mild form of traumatic brain injury, with 1.6-3.8 million concussions occurring each year.

In the past, people may not have considered concussions a big deal. However, thinking has evolved along with the science, and it’s now clear that concussions have to be taken seriously. In this blog, the providers at OrthoCincy Wellington Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine explain why you should never ignore a concussion.

What is a concussion?

A concussion, which is a form of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs due to a sudden blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can create chemical changes in the brain and may even damage brain cells.

Concussions often occur as a result of playing contact sports, such as football or hockey. Falls are another common cause of concussions, especially in older adults. Any bump, blow, or knock to the head can cause a concussion.

Signs of a concussion

If you experience a head injury, or if someone around you experiences a head injury, there are some signs you should watch for, which could indicate a concussion. Here are some of them:

Overt symptoms

More subtle symptoms

Most of these symptoms generally show up shortly after the injury, but symptoms can still appear hours or even days later. If you or anyone around you receives a head injury, it’s paramount that medical care be sought, no matter how minor the injury is.

The potential consequences of concussions

A mild concussion will usually resolve itself without complications. However, experiencing repeated concussions — even mild ones — can result in serious, long-term consequences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, repeated concussions can have a multiplying effect on the brain, which can cause cognitive and neurological changes that may be permanent. 

How concussions are treated

Most concussions resolve themselves with time and rest as the brain heals. However, it’s important to seek medical attention, because concussions can be serious injuries. Depending on your condition, your provider at OrthoCincy Wellington Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine may recommend a screening test, such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Many mild concussions can be treated with several days of rest. If symptoms continue to fade, your provider may allow you to return to light activities. And, with time, your provider may allow you to return to full participation in your regular activities. It’s important, however, that you be observed and monitored during this time, especially in the first few days. If your concussion is more serious, your provider can discuss your next steps.

To learn more about treating a concussion, book an appointment online or over the phone with OrthoCincy Wellington Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine today.

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