Concussion in sport – who should I see?
Not a topic we often like to talk about but in reality it happens more than you think
AND you don’t have to be knocked unconscious to suffer a concussion.
I’m sure we have all cringed watching the footy when there is a big clash of players tackling in a pack or going up for a courageous mark. There have been some sickening blows televised over the years, but what about the ones that go un-noticed?
Approximately one third of athletes who play contact sports may have had a previously undiagnosed concussion. Whether it was a ball to the head, a knock on the ground, or a heavy bump, concussions can be easily missed. Given their seriousness, managing them appropriately is vital.
Obvious signs can be picked up in the moment, such as a loss of consciousness, loss of balance, and confusion. Despite this, not all concussions will present this way, and many can often be more subtle symptoms.
- Mood swings,
- neck pain and
- nausea (along with a list of other symptoms) can also indicate concussion.
No concussion should be taken lightly, as they all have potential of a more significant brain trauma – scary I know. Similar to pregnancy, because you are 10 weeks pregnant doesn’t make you “a little pregnant”. You are either pregnant or not. No ifs or buts. You can’t just be a little concussed, you either are or you aren’t.
Youngsters are particularly important, as their growing brains need more time to recover. Any child or adolescent under the age of 18 should wait at least 3 weeks before medical clearance and return to sport after being diagnosed with concussion.
A thorough assessment should be carried out to establish a baseline of your concussion as soon as possible, to help outline the most appropriate management. A gradual return to sport program is then implemented, to ensure a safe return once symptoms have cleared.
So if you or your child have copped a head knock on the weekend and are feeling a bit off, speak with one of our physiotherapists today. We take the time to walk you through an assessment, and refer on to a medical doctor or emergency department where appropriate.
Published by: Matt Nowosilskyj