Concussion, also known as minor traumatic brain injury, is a condition that leads to an altered state of the brain. It occurs as a result of a blow or an injury to the head/face. They are usually mild and do not result in long-term damage but can sometimes cause serious problems that require medical attention.
Concussion is a common problem in contact sports such as rugby and boxing but can also occur after a car accident, fall from a height or being violently shaken.
Common symptoms of concussion include headache, confusion, memory impairment and temporary loss of consciousness. Other symptoms may include difficulty in making decisions, lack of concentration, ringing in the ears and a feeling of pressure in the head.
Your Sport and Exercise Physician may diagnose concussion by reviewing your medical history, carrying out a thorough physical examination and performing some simple cognitive tests. Radiological investigations such as a CT or MRI scan may be needed in a few cases.
80-90% of concussions will resolve within a few days of relative rest, followed by a short spell of active recovery and gradual resumption of sporting activities.
In the initial stages it is important to get enough sleep and avoid strenuous physical or mental activities which may make your symptoms worse.
It is important not to return to contact/collision sports before a full recovery is obtained as this increases the chances of recurrence and prolonged symptoms. Your Sports Physician will help guide you through this recovery process.