Every year, millions of Americans suffer a concussion, a type of brain injury that can have long-lasting and even life-threatening consequences if not treated promptly and properly. Unfortunately, the symptoms of a concussion can be subtle, and sometimes they don’t show up right away.
At Easy Reach Chiropractic in Lake Worth and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Barbara Adonis, DC, and Heather Previll, PT, DPT, offer patient-centered care for patients suffering from the aftereffects of concussions resulting from car accidents, sports or work accidents, and other traumatic injuries. In this post, they review some of the telltale signs and symptoms that can help you determine if you or a loved one is suffering from a concussion.
A concussion happens when a blow or impact to the head or to the body causes the brain to “bounce” against the sides or the skull or to twist or change position rapidly. This movement can cause chemical changes inside the brain, along with damage to the brain tissue and cells.
Falls are a common cause of concussions, but so are car accidents and sports accidents. Again, it’s important to note that you don’t have to hit your head directly to have a concussion. Violent shaking or a severe impact to your body can also cause a concussion.
Even a mild concussion can cause changes inside your brain that can result in an array of symptoms. Many symptoms are slow to occur or are very subtle, and having a medical evaluation right after an injury is essential for preventing serious complications, like permanent brain damage, disability, or even death.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion
Concussion symptoms can be roughly divided into two “types”: ones directly experienced by the person who’s injured and ones that are observed by others.
Symptoms the injured person may experience
Since concussions involve the head, it isn’t surprising that a headache or head pain is one of the symptoms you can experience after a concussion. Other symptoms include:
- Problems with balance or coordination
- Nausea or vomiting
- Feeling “groggy” or “foggy”
- Having problems with memory
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurry vision
- “Ringing” in the ears
- Feeling confused
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Generally feeling “off”
Self-assessment can be difficult after a concussion, which is why seeing a doctor immediately after an injury is vitally important.
Symptoms that may be observed by someone else
In addition to the symptoms you experience, a friend or loved one might notice changes in your behavior, such as:
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Change in mood
- Change in speech patterns, like slow speech
- Loss of memory
- Loss of consciousness
- Changes in personality
- Other unusual changes in behavior
Often, signs and symptoms show up shortly after the concussion or even immediately after. Sometimes, though, they may not appear or fully develop until hours or days later. That’s why it’s important to continue to look for these signs and symptoms for days after the initial injury.
Patient-centered care for your injuries
There’s no specific timeline for concussion recovery — some patients recover within days, while for others, healing may take considerably longer. Our team will work with you to ensure you get the care you need for optimal recovery.
If you’ve had a concussion, a custom treatment plan can help you get better. To learn more about the treatments we offer, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Easy Reach Chiropractic today.