What do proper concussion tools and treatment involve? Read on to learn how to recognize and alleviate this head injury.
Concussion is one of the most common types of head injury. Although unpleasant, there are many tools and treatments to address the condition. Let’s cover the most effective ones.
What is a concussion?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines concussions as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by jolts, bumps, or blows to your head. Hits to other body parts can also be the culprit if they make the brain move rapidly back and forth.
The sudden movements can make the brain twist or bounce around in your skull. This leads to chemical changes, which can result in brain cell damage and stretching.
The danger signs of concussions
This injury usually occurs as a sport-related concussion. Athletic trainers, healthcare providers, and others should stay on the lookout for the following symptoms of concussions to recognize the condition early:
- Differently sized pupils
- Drowsiness or difficulty waking up
- Worsening headaches that won’t go away
- Slurred speech
- Numbness or weakness
- Impaired coordination
- Recurring nausea, seizures, or vomiting
- Increased confusion, agitation, restlessness, or other types of unusual behavior
- Loss of consciousness (you should take it seriously, even if it’s brief)
The effects are the same in children. However, if you suspect your infant has had a concussion, make sure to report these two signs to a pediatric expert:
Reluctance to eat or nurse
Tools and treatments to help people with concussion
Management of concussions takes time. To help ensure a fast concussion recovery, you can try the following tools and treatments:
Baseline testing should be one of your first steps if you suffer a concussion. It tells you when you can safely return to high school, work, contact sports, or other everyday activities. Plus, the clinician can advise you on the following aspects:
- Proper ways to recover
- Danger signs
- Seeking immediate care on time
- Helping reduce your risk for future concussions
Besides checking for common symptoms, baseline tests also perform cognitive (memory and concentration) and balance assessments. They can also include paper-pencil or computerized neurological examinations to analyze your reaction time.
If you’re an athlete, the emergency department should test you for prior concussions during pre-season assessments. This includes investigating previous symptoms and how long it took you to recover from your injury.
Additionally, medical professionals should follow up their immediate post-concussion assessment by noting any other conditions that could influence your recovery:
- Mood disorders
- Learning deficits
- Concussion evaluation/Cognitive testing
Concussion evaluation looks at your brain function before and after the trauma. Doctors or other sideline healthcare personnel should perform the testing if they have enough experience assessing and treating this injury.
Some of the things they test include:
- Concentration, memory, and other mental skills
- Quick thinking
- Paying attention
The biggest reason you should schedule cognitive function testing is to determine how soon you can return to normal life. If you continue to play sports or do other demanding tasks too early, you risk causing second-impact syndrome (fatal brain swelling).
Even if you don’t sustain a fatal injury, you can increase the chances of post-concussion syndrome. This condition prolongs the symptoms for weeks or months, severely limiting your processing speed and aggravating balance problems.
Neurocognitive testing measures your cognitive function and generates a score that serves as a reference point. Vestibular therapists (experts in dizziness symptoms) and other specialists refer to this score as a baseline that indicates your performance before and after your injury.
As the name indicates, neurocognitive tests are just neurocognitive tests. They don’t examine any other difficulties that can be impacted by concussions, like vision and balance problems.
That’s why experts recommend comprehensive concussion care. Healthcare professionals should use CT scans and other assessment tools to capture the full spectrum of symptoms after head trauma.
It’s the only way to determine whether a concussion is the real cause of limited physical activity and cognitive dysfunction.
Apart from seeking medical help, you can improve your concussion recovery with several evidence-based methods. One of them is applying ice packs.
Put them on the affected area for 15-20 minutes to reduce pain and external swelling. You can also do this for the next few days to further bring down the swelling. Don’t forget to put your ice (or frozen peas) in a towel to prevent skin damage.
Icing your neck and head immediately after this injury addresses the most common symptoms, including sleep troubles, nausea, and headache. Plus, it can alleviate post-concussion migraines or minor bruising of your head.
Some research also suggests that icing can reduce the risk of long-term damage after multiple concussions.
Rest is key to a full recovery. Don’t go to work or school if you’re exhausted due to the injury. Instead, get some rest until the symptoms go away.
That said, bed rest shouldn’t last more than three days. You should try to go back to normal activity reasonably quickly.
That’s where text to speech (TTS) comes in. This technology converts text into speech and reads it aloud in clear voices. It enables you to listen to your content while resting, so you don’t worsen headaches or vision impairments.
Speechify is a polished TTS platform that can turn any text into an speech. Whether you’re uploading a PDF file or reading from a web page, this app is a perfect solution. Best of all, it works on all major devices and operating systems.
Check out the app and see what it can do for you!
What is the most effective treatment for a concussion?
Resting might be the most effective treatment for concussions, but it shouldn’t last too long.
What tool is used to assess a concussion?
Some of the tools used to assess concussions include Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing and Standard Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT 3).
What are the 3 R’s of treating a concussion?
You’re more likely to avoid concussion complications if you follow the three R’s: recognition, reporting, and recovery.
What should you do if you suspect someone of having a concussion?
If you suspect someone has a concussion, seek medical help urgently. Not reacting on time can have serious consequences.
What is the most common cause of concussion?
The most common cause of concussion is hits to the head that make the brain move rapidly.
What is the difference between a concussion and a brain injury?
Brain injury is an umbrella term that includes various head trauma, including concussions.