You’ve decided to allow your child to try out for the football team at school. You know that they will be provided with protective equipment so it must be safe. Yet, there’s a voice in the back of your head wondering if this might be a bad idea. After all, 3.8 million concussions get reported each year from sports and 70% of those reports are for children who incur the injury from recreational sports. Before you say yes or no to contact sports for your kids, let’s learn more about what concussions are and how to treat a concussion.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that occurs when the head is bumped or hit with intensity. As a result, the brain slams against the inside walls of the skull. The impact can cause brain cells to get damaged and result in long-term serious health issues.
Concussions commonly occur during competitive and recreational sports and physical activities. They are also common injuries from car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents. Any activity that puts your head at risk of being directly or indirectly hit, bumped, or jolted puts you at risk for a concussion.
What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
It’s a common misconception that concussions cause the sufferer to immediately fall unconscious. While this can happen, it certainly doesn’t happen in all cases. Each brain injury is unique and so are its symptoms.
Some of the most commonly reported symptoms include:
- Pressure in the head and neck
- Headaches and migraines
- Blurred vision and dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Memory loss and fogginess
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Difficulty concentrating
Parents and coaches must remember that a child does not have to lose consciousness when they suffer a concussion. They might display one or more of the symptoms above at the onset of the injury. More symptoms can develop over time.
When you witness a child or teenager suffer a head injury, pull them from the activity immediately. Regardless of how badly they may want to resume playing, it’s critical that their symptoms are investigated.
Engaging in physical activity while suffering from a concussion can cause further brain damage.
How to Treat a Concussion
The first step to treat a concussion is to get an official diagnosis from a doctor. They will ask the injured person questions about their symptoms. They may also run diagnostic CT scans of the brain.
In some cases, concussion symptoms resolve themselves. However, for some patients the symptoms remain present and debilitating for a long period of time.
The patient should not return to school, work, or play until they get the green light from their doctor. Until then, the doctor will likely recommend plenty of rest, sleep, and limited physical activities. As they see the patient begin to heal, they may permit gradual reintroduction to school and activities.
The doctor may also suggest that the patient sees an osteopathic manual practitioner. Osteopathic practitioners can help treat some of the symptoms of concussions like head and neck pain and nausea. An osteopath uses craniosacral therapy, fascia therapy and osteoarticular techniques to relieve pain and restore function.
At Wildflower Health and Wellness, our team of qualified and experienced osteopathic manual practitioners can aid in your concussion recovery. Contact us today to learn more.