Concussions are a relatively common form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can change the way your brain normally works. Most concussions are minor and will resolve itself within weeks, but they can also be permanent and disabling.
Concussions are not always obvious. Contrary to popular belief, a loss of consciousness only happens in about 10% of concussion cases. Even standard neurological imaging such as CT scans and MRI’S fail to pick up on concussions, and medical professionals assess and diagnose the injury based on symptoms.
Concussions are caused by 2 things.
- A trauma such as a bump or blow to the head that directly impacts the head and brain and/or;
- A fall or blow to the body that jostles the brain inside the skull without a blow to the head.
Symptoms range in severity and are prolonged if not properly following the treatment plan. The symptoms include:
- Physical symptoms such as headaches and blurred vision;
- Cognitive symptoms such as difficulty focussing;
- Emotional symptoms such as irritability or a short temper;
- Sleep related symptoms such as fatigue or inconsistency in sleep.
A concussion is not just one traumatic blow, it is a series of metabolic (biochemical) changes in the brain set off at the time of the injury. Following the injury, the brain cells don’t get enough energy and nutrients to work properly which causes impairment in function. As your brain cells undergo metabolic changes as your body recovers, symptoms will change.
The affected brain cells are particularly vulnerable to sustaining further damage during the recovery period which is why brain injury victims are removed from athletic play and prohibited from driving or operating large machinery and removed from possibly dangerous situations.
As your symptoms begin to lift, concussion victims will start to gradually increase their activities until full potential. It is important that if symptoms begin returning it can be a sign that you have taken on too much, and it is time to return to the previous step, and only what your injured brain can handle.
Although most concussions don’t last more than a few weeks, they can be debilitating and long-lasting for people who do not follow proper recovery protocol. Brain injuries are the most serious injury that require extensive care and caution.
CLG Injury Law has over 35 years’ experience representing Atlantic Canadians who have suffered injuries following a motor vehicle accident. For more articles and safety tips, go to https://cantiniinjurylaw.ca/blog/ or subscribe to our newsletter.