Concussions are injuries that interfere with the functioning of the brain. Usually caused by a sudden and severe blow to the head, it affects nearly 160,000 Canadians each year, most of whom are athletes. While they often don’t appear to be serious injuries, if left undiagnosed or untreated, concussions can escalate into a much bigger problem and may even be fatal.

A common misconception people have about concussions is that unless the person is knocked out, they haven’t received a brain injury. This is entirely untrue. Concussions can occur even if the individual appears to be fully conscious.

How Do You Know If You Have A Concussion?

Concussions can be tricky to diagnose, as the symptoms may not always present themselves immediately. However, if you’ve received a blow to the head or if it’s been jerked sharply, then these are the signs to look out for:

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Difficulty in focusing
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Difficulty in remembering
  • Difficulty in thinking or speaking coherently
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling mentally fogged

Physical Symptoms

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Imbalance
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitivity to light

Emotional Symptoms

  • Nervousness
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling more emotional than usual

Sleeping Patterns

  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Irregular sleeping patterns

Can You Continue Playing Sports With A Concussion?

No! Concussions need to be treated first before you resume playing. This means that for a specified period of time, you need to avoid activities that put you under physical or mental strain, including playing sports.

If you continue playing when your injury hasn’t fully healed, then you’re putting yourself at risk of second impact syndrome. This happens when you receive a second blow to the head, injuring the brain yet again. Even if it’s a minor jolt or impact, the results can be quite dangerous. They may lead to swelling of the brain, paralysis, and can even be fatal. Therefore, it’s important that the concussion be fully healed first and the brain well-rested, so that the risks of second impact syndrome are reduced.

Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute clinics offer concussion programs to accelerate recovery for athletes. Our trained concussion practitioners perform baseline testing to fully evaluate the patient’s condition, and offer treatment accordingly.

Located in St. Claire, Toronto, Sheppard, and Thornhill, we also offer a number of other sports medicine services, including physiotherapy, sports massage, acupuncture, sports podiatry, and active release techniques, among others.

Call at 1-844-223-7364 to get in touch with our team and learn more about our services!