Getting a blow to the head when playing sports, falling down from a flight of stairs, being in a car accident, or even a prolonged and intense head banging to music—all this can cause a concussion.
However, since the common symptoms and signs of a concussion can take a while to show up, many people fail to consult a doctor after a head injury, something that can be fatal and have long-lasting consequences.
Fortunately, we can prevent the scenario of a more serious brain injury by learning more about concussions.
Thus, as the only Chiropractic clinic in Singapore specializing in health issues related to the upper cervical system, we are sharing some of the key facts you need to know about this potentially serious brain injury.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is characterized by an impact on the head that affects brain function.
It is typically described as ‘mild’ traumatic brain injury or a minor head injury since it is rarely life-threatening.
That said, if you experience a headache after a concussion, it may indicate more serious harm and requires immediate medical attention.
What Causes a Concussion?
A concussion can happen due to a variety of different factors, but it is usually caused by some type of head injury.
The brain is cushioned by a jelly-like fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that usually prevents traumatic brain injuries.
However, depending on the intensity of the impact, the brain can be jostled and slide back and forth against the inner walls of the skull, incurring injuries to the brain tissue and brain cells.
These injuries cause brain swelling and other signs and symptoms of a concussion. In more serious brain injury cases, a skull fracture can occur.
Here are some of the most common factors that may cause an increased risk of developing concussions:
Having undergone military combat
Previous minor head trauma from a sport related concussion
Playing high-risk contact sports such as football, rugby, hockey, boxing, especially without the right safety equipment
Being involved in a vehicular accident
Having severe head injuries in the past
What are Some Common Concussion Symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of a concussion will vary across ages and on the severity of the injury.
In a child, for instance, a concussion may manifest as a dazed appearance, excessive crying, irritability and crankiness, and even a change in their eating and sleeping patterns.
That said, there are symptoms that make for a common experience. These include:
Headache, nausea, and/or vomiting
Double or blurry vision
Blurry vision and confusion
Ringing in the ears
Fatigue or drowsiness
‘Seeing stars’ or dizziness
Memory loss and/or memory problems and other impairments in mental function
Loss of consciousness
If your symptoms worsen, please seek medical assistance immediately.
Are there Hidden Signs of Concussion?
The symptoms of a concussion may not manifest immediately or with the symptoms previously mentioned. You must be alert and monitor yourself in the days or even weeks post-injury.
‘Hidden’ symptoms of concussion may include, but is not limited to:
taste and smell disorders
sensitivity to light and noise
other emotional symptoms, such as psychological adjustment issues and depression
What Is the Outlook of Having a Concussion?
Fortunately, with ample rest, most concussions heal on their own. That said, taking a break from school, work, or sporting activities will be necessary to avoid worsening symptoms and facilitate faster recovery.
However, there are some complications associated with a concussion:
Post Concussion Syndrome
Up to one-third of people who get a concussion have long-lasting or persistent symptoms.
This is called “post-concussion syndrome,” and it means that the symptoms of the concussion last for four weeks or longer in children and teens, or for more than 14 days in adults.
You don’t have to experience loss of consciousness to get post-concussion syndrome. In fact, it doesn’t seem like the severity of the initial injury is linked to the chance of having long-term symptoms after a concussion.
Post Traumatic Headaches
If you get a new headache within 7 days of your head injury, you have have post-traumatic headache. Post-traumatic headaches can be constant or only recur occasionally.
If you still have headaches for more than 3 months after your previous concussion, your doctor may say that you have “persistent post-traumatic headache.”
If you already get headaches and migraines often, you are more likely to get a post-traumatic headache.
Second Impact Syndrome
If you’ve had a concussion, you shouldn’t play sports or do strenuous activities without your doctor’s permission.
If you get a second concussion before your first one heals, it can lead to a condition called “second impact syndrome,” which increases the chances of severe brain swelling and may be fatal.
Remember that it’s important to rest after any head injury. Your brain can heal this way. Even if your doctor says you can play sports or exercise again, you should ease back into it.
What is the Best Concussion Treatment for Me?
Prevention will always be the best cure for concussions.
But when wearing a fitted helmet properly, using the right safety gear, and following safety guidelines fail, you have the following concussion treatment options:
Getting expert advice from a doctor or a Chiropractor
Getting enough rest to help with your body’s recovery
Staying hydrated to counter the risks of dehydration from vomiting and nausea
Taking a brief period of break from physical or strenuous activities and contact sports to avoid a second concussion, fatal brain swelling, or any other form of serious injury.
Minimizing or avoiding alcohol consumption entirely so as not to interfere with or slow recovery
Forgoing TV nights and minimizing the use of electronic devices in the meantime for that much-needed brain rest
Wake Up to Mornings Free of Concussion Symptoms with Vitality
Live a life free from pain and preventable conditions with Vitality as your health partners!
Rather than only prescribing pain medication or doing a physical exam and calling it a day, our Chiropractor addresses its root cause using a variety of sophisticated tests based on our Upper Cervical Chiropractic approach.
As the first provider of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care in Singapore and Southeast Asia, our specialised methods promote a more effective management of concussion symptoms.
This allows us to develop the right treatment plan for you to prevent repeat concussions and restore normal brain function.
We can also help improve any shoulder, back, or neck injury that may have occurred alongside your concussion, and the severe headache that commonly accompanies a concussion.
Ready to take back your life?
Our comprehensive rehabilitative and Chiropractic care services work to prevent the worsening of your conditions and improve the quality of your life.