Concussion help isn’t always straightforward or apparent from the outset. It can be frustrating, disheartening, and overwhelming. This article should help shed light on how to find concussion help when you need it the most.
Understanding Concussions: A Basic Overview
Concussions are a type of mild traumatic brain injury that can occur from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. They can also happen when a hit to the body causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth, as in a fall on the ice or during a car accident. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist inside the skull, leading to chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
Concussion Symptoms to Watch For
It’s vital to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion. They can include headaches, confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, and problems with memory or concentration. Some people may also experience sleep disturbances or mood changes. These symptoms can appear right after the injury and may only be noticed days, weeks, or months later. More importantly, concussion help is more than just a simple fix or a single solution for most.
Who is Most At Risk for Concussions?
Concussions can happen to anyone at any age. They’re prevalent in children and adolescents but can also occur in older adults due to falls and accidents. Sadly, most concussions in the youth population go unnoticed due to a child’s inability to communicate how they feel.
The public perception of concussions is that they commonly only occur during sports and recreational activities. Still, far more often than not, they can often result from car accidents, falls, and other common impacts. This is why your provider needs to understand common concussion symptoms and, more importantly, how to appropriately treat them.
Why You’re Not Alone for Concussion Help
If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion, it’s essential to understand that you’re not alone. Concussion help can be found if you can find a provider who is experienced in treating them.
In the United States alone, an estimated 1.7 million patients are admitted to the emergency room with concussions. While that may seem like a lot, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the actual incidence rates range from 1.4 to 3.8 million concussions per year when considering outpatient visits and those who choose to not seek care for their injuries.
Sadly, most of these concussions will go unnoticed due to a lack of abnormal findings via imaging or with a routine examination by a primary care physician.
The Importance of Proper Care in Treating Concussions
Getting proper care after a concussion is crucial. Just ask any patient who has struggled with chronic post-concussion symptoms! This is why we’re so passionate about treating concussions and helping patients find the right provider for their care.
Although it’s commonly well-known, adequate rest and sleep are vital in the initial stages after a concussion. A high-quality diet, proper hydration, and avoiding triggers for symptoms are also essential for recovery and can play a significant role in getting back to normal function. Sadly, most people are uneducated about the importance of nutrition in recovering from a concussion.
It’s also important to see an experienced healthcare provider who has worked with concussions before. They should be able to perform an in-depth examination and assessment to create a uniquely tailored treatment plan for you.
Concussion help and treatment should look different for each person because of how unique our brains are.
Long-Term Effects and Concussion Recovery
While most people with concussions recover quickly, for some, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or even longer. Statistically speaking, a majority of patients will recover from a concussion within 7-10 days, but children and young adults may take more time than adults.
Unfortunately, new research estimates that up to 33% of people who sustain non-sport-related concussions could have sustained symptoms outside of the acute recovery window for months and even years.
In these chronic concussion cases, individuals may experience long-term effects such as persistent headaches, memory problems, dizziness, visual changes, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and difficulties with concentration and coordination. There’s even evidence showing that those who sustain concussions are at increased risk for mental health and behavioral disorders like anxiety, depression, and suicide.
While this may sound grim, the beauty of the brain is that it can change, grow, and adapt to our environment. This concept of neuroplasticity is foundational for rehabilitation, therapy, and improving your life after a concussion. It’s also the reason why people can heal from their injuries.
Concussion Support and Resources
There are many resources and forms of support available for those dealing with concussions. Support groups, rehabilitation services, and educational materials can help patients and their families understand and manage the condition.
Most of the patients we’ve worked with have seen other doctors and providers, but they’re still seeking answers. We don’t believe we’re better than anyone else; We take a different treatment and care approach.
Patients deserve to be treated like the individuals that they are, which is why we’re so focused on helping people help themselves. More importantly, we want our patients to get back to living their life outside our office!
Concussions are a serious matter, but with the proper knowledge and care, recovery is possible. Remember, if you’re dealing with a concussion, you’re not alone. A community and a wealth of resources are ready to support you on your road to recovery.
And if you’re still looking for answers to your concussion questions, click HERE to reach out for a free consultation!