GenHealth Hamilton

Unravelling Concussion Management: Key Insights and Red Flags

Concussions, often underestimated, demand meticulous attention and proper management to ensure optimal recovery and prevent potential complications.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the essential aspects of concussion management, including key takeaways, recognising symptoms, debunking myths, identifying red flags, and highlighting the pivotal role of physiotherapists.

Key Takeaways:

Any concussion is significant: Even a single concussion requires serious consideration, as it signifies a mild traumatic brain injury that can impact brain function.

Symptoms of Concussion can vary but may include:

   – Headache

   – Dizziness

   – Drowsiness

   – Nausea/Vomiting

   – Sensitivity to bright light/noise

   – Changes in emotion (e.g., increased emotional responses, sadness, irritability, anxiety)

   – Changes in thinking (e.g., difficulty concentrating, remembering)

One Symptom, One Concussion: It’s important to note that experiencing just one symptom is sufficient for a concussion diagnosis. The presence of any of these symptoms warrants immediate attention and assessment.

Recovery Timeline: The brain typically requires approximately 28 days to fully recover from a concussion. During this period, rest and gradual return to activities are essential.

Second Impact Risks: Experiencing a second concussion within the initial 28 days significantly increases the risk of developing post-concussion syndrome, emphasising the importance of proper management and avoidance of further head injuries.

Helmet Misconceptions: While helmets are effective in preventing skull fractures, they do not offer complete protection against concussions. They serve as a vital safety measure but do not eliminate the risk of brain injury.

Role of Physios and Neurologists: Physiotherapists equipped with specialised training in concussion management, serve as the first point of contact for assessment and rehabilitation. Neurologists play a crucial role in managing post-concussion syndrome and addressing complex neurological issues.

Recognizing Concussion Symptoms:

Visible concussion clues:

  – Loss of consciousness/responsiveness

  – Lying motionless on the field

  – Dazed, blank, or vacant look

  – Unsteady on feet.

Physical signs:

  – Headache

  – Dizziness

  – Drowsiness

  – Nausea/Vomiting

  – Sensitivity to bright light/noise.

Changes in emotion:

  – More emotional

  – Sadness, irritability, anxiety.

Changes in thinking:

  – Difficulty concentrating

  – Difficulty remembering.

Red Flags for Concussion:

In addition to symptoms, certain red flags necessitate immediate medical attention:

– Neck pain or tenderness

– Seizure, fits, or convulsions

– Loss of vision or double vision

– Increasing confusion or deteriorating conscious state

– Weakness or numbness/tingling in more than one arm or leg

– Repeated vomiting

– Severe or worsening headache

– Increasing restlessness, agitation, or combativeness

– Visible deformity of the skull.

Concussion management requires comprehensive understanding, swift action, and ongoing support. Physiotherapists trained in concussion management, play a pivotal role in the timely assessment and rehabilitation of individuals. By recognising symptoms, debunking myths, and prioritising safety, we can ensure better outcomes and promote brain health in our communities.

We extend our gratitude to our community for their commitment to enhancing concussion management practices. Let’s continue to work together to strengthen the health and well-being of all individuals affected by concussions.

If you or someone you know are experiencing any concussion symptoms, please book an appointment.

Hear and read more from our Physiotherapists Melanie Roll and Sophie Delahoy on concussion management here.


All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


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