concussion

Manage Your Symptoms

Go beyond just coping with your symptoms. Get them effectively under control and on the way out with customized concussion rehabilitation.

Get Back to Daily Activities

Feel confident about returning to the activities you love. Our team of specialists are on your side to guide you through the when and how of your comeback.

Prevent Future Injuries

Learn ways to prevent and protect yourself from direct blows to the head, neck or face that cause concussions—especially important if your sport or physical activity level puts you at risk.

What is a Concussion?

Concussions are the most common form of head injury caused by an impact or forceful motion of the head or other parts of the body, resulting in rapid movement of the brain within the skull.

The types of activities that can cause a concussion include falls, collisions with people or objects, and motor vehicle crashes. If there is a history of concussion, even a minor hit to the head or body can trigger symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion can be delayed for several hours or even a few days following an incident.

What do I do if I see someone get a head injury?

If someone shows any of the following Red Flag Symptoms, call 911 immediately.

  • Neck pain or Tenderness
  • Double vision
  • Weakness or tingling/burning in arms/legs
  • Severe or increasing headache
  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Deteriorating conscious state
  • Vomiting
  • Increasingly restless, agitated, or combative

If there are no Red Flag symptoms:

  • Notify an emergency contact person, parent or guardian
  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Continue to monitor for Red Flag and signs of a concussion
  • Do not let the person return to the activity or sport
  • Do not give the person any immediate medication
  • Do not let the person leave alone
  • Do not let the person drive or ride a bike

What happens after the concussion?

Children and teenagers tend to experience a longer recovery period than adults. On average, an adult takes 7 to 10 days to recover, whereas children and teenagers may take 2 to 4 weeks to heal.

Most concussion cases (about 85%) will fully recover within 3 months; however, some symptoms can last for months and have the potential to cause long-term difficulties.

How long does it take to recover?

The first and most important step in a person’s recovery from a concussion is REST for a maximum of 2 days. The person will need both physical and cognitive rest after sustaining a concussion to allow the brain to heal. The goal is to not trigger or worsen symptoms.

Physical activity after 2 days means participation in daily life activities that do not result in an increased heart rate or breaking a sweat. Restrict exercise, sports, running, biking, rough play.

Cognitive activity after 2 days means limiting activities that require concentration and learning. Restrict: reading, electronics (computers, smartphones, video games, TV), work/schoolwork, playing musical instruments, listening to loud music, socializing.

Once symptoms start to improve, or the person has rested for 2 days maximum, the person can begin to increase activities and focus on returning to school, work, sports, etc. Symptoms may return, worsen, or new symptoms may appear as new activity levels are introduced. If this happens, return to a lower level of activity that does affect or bring on new symptoms.

It is important that the person has successfully returned to school or work before fully returning to sports or physical activities. Returning to physical activity too early may result in more severe or potentially long-term problems.

Can physiotherapy help my recovery?

Physiotherapy can help manage your symptoms as you recover. Physiotherapists with an interest in concussion can help with retraining balance, managing headaches, and settling neck and arm pain. For more information, visit: Body Restoration is the best physiotherapy clinic for concussion treatment in Edmonton to help you lead a quality life.

Second Impact Syndrome

Second-impact syndrome (SIS) occurs when the brain swells rapidly, and catastrophically, after a person suffers a second concussion before symptoms from an earlier one have subsided. This second blow may occur minutes, days or weeks after an initial concussion, and even the mildest grade of concussion can lead to SIS. The condition is often fatal, and almost everyone who is not killed is severely disabled. The cause of SIS is uncertain, but it is thought that the brain’s arterioles lose their ability to regulate their diameter, and therefore lose control over cerebral blood flow, causing massive cerebral edema.

This is extremely rare, but it is important to consider when ensuring an appropriate recovery program for patients.  Health professionals in this field will use a framework like the one below.

When can I return to sport?

Stage 1: Symptom-limiting activities

After an initial short period of rest of 24 to 48 hours, light cognitive and physical activity can begin, as long as these don’t worsen symptoms. You can start with daily activities like moving around the house, simple chores, and gradually introducing school and work activities at home.

Stage 2: Light aerobic activity

Light exercise such as walking or stationary cycling, for 10 to 15 minutes. The duration and intensity of the aerobic exercise can be gradually increased over time if symptoms don’t worsen and no new symptoms appear during the exercise or in the hours that follow. No resistance training or other heavy lifting.

Stage 3: Individual sport-specific exercise with no contact

Activities such as skating, running, or throwing can begin for 20 to 30 minutes. There should be no body contact or other jarring motions, such as high-speed stops or hitting a ball with a bat. No resistance training.

Stage 4: Begin training drills with no contact

Add in more challenging drills like passing drills. There should be no impact activities (no checking, no heading the ball, etc.). Start to add in progressive resistance training.

Stage 5: Full contact practice following clearance by a doctor.

Stage 6: Return to Sport

Full game play or competition.

Are you or someone you know experiencing concussion symptoms?  Visit Body Restoration – the best physiotherapy clinic in Edmonton for concussion treatment to ensure you are on the right track to full recovery.