Concussion Management 3

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CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
I MAY HAVE A CONCUSSION: WHAT DO I DO?
STEP 1
Make sure that you tell someone (your partner, coach, parent, teacher etc.) so that you
are not left alone. Remove yourself from sport, class, and/or work until a Medical
Physician can properly assess you. Rest is the best treatment during the initial hours of
the injury.
STEP 2
Schedule an appointment to see a Medical Physician as soon as possible. It is not
usually necessary to visit the emergency room unless your symptoms are severe
and/or rapidly worsening. It is not usually necessary to have someone wake you in the
night – get a good night's sleep. Limit use of your phone, television, and computer.
Avoid visually demanding tasks such as reading and busy/loud environments such as
the grocery store or sporting events – try to rest both your body and your brain.
STEP 3
Undergo proper medical evaluation by a Physician. This does not typically include CT
or MRI unless more severe injury is suspected or needs to be ruled out.
STEP 4
Visit a Shift Concussion Management Provider-Manas Kathuria PT –(Aspire
Physiotherapy , Edmonton ) further assessment. If you have previously undergone
baseline testing, repeat testing will demonstrate any areas that may be impaired due to
the injury and will help guide management recommendations. If you have not
previously undergone baseline testing, a follow-up assessment with one of our Health
Professionals is still highly recommended.
STEP 5
Follow any management recommendations given to you by your Physician and Shift
Health Professional. These may include physical rehabilitation (eg. for associated
neck pain), specific rest strategies and advice around modified school and/or work
requirements, specialized rehabilitative techniques (eg. vestibular therapy/exercises to
help combat dizziness), and other recovery strategies.
STEP 6
Follow-up with the Health Professionals involved in your care so that your recovery is
properly monitored. If you have questions – ask! Knowledge of your injury will aid in
your recovery.

Some common symptoms often reported with concussive injuries include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Neck pain
  •  Nausea or Vomiting
  • Loss of balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Trouble focusing on objects or words
  • Poor concentration
  • Feeling “foggy”
  • Confusion
  •  Amnesia, or poor memory
  • “Flashing lights”
  •  Blurred or double vision
  •  Seeing “stars”
  • Irritability or emotional changes
  • Ringing in ears
  • Slow to follow direction
  •  Decreased playing ability
  • Easily distracted
  •  Vacant stare
  • Drowsiness/fatigue
  • Difficulty falling asleep

Feeling “off” or not like oneself
What is the recovery timeframe after a concussion?
The majority of concussion-related symptoms are thought to resolve in a short
timeframe (days to weeks); however in some, symptoms may persist for months:
 Some children & adolescents
 Individuals who have suffered multiple concussions in a close timeframe
 Individuals experiencing persistent migraine-like headaches, visual or vestibular
dysfunction or a high symptom load
 Individuals with history of migraine, depression, ADHD, learning disabilities or sleep
disorders
Why some individuals seem to recover quickly and others do not remains unclear.
Even when symptoms resolve quickly it is advisable that a proper gradual return-to-
play protocol be carried out for athletes returning to sport.
Postconcussion syndrome is a diagnostic term used when symptoms persist for
several weeks and sometimes months after the injury. If your symptoms persist
beyond 3-4 weeks it is important that you undergo proper medical assessment (or re-
assessment) in order to receive the right education and management strategies for
your condition.

What is “Second Impact Syndrome?”
Second Impact Syndrome is a rare, but serious consequence of head trauma, which
results in rapid swelling of the brain – potentially leading to severe disability or death.
Controversy exists as to whether second impact syndrome is a product of cumulative
head trauma (when an athlete sustains a concussion while still suffering the effects of
a previous concussion), or if it is simply a product of a single, mild traumatic brain
injury.
Regardless of its cause, second impact syndrome is a severe consequence of head
injury in young athletes. There should be absolutely NO return to play while an
athlete is displaying signs and symptoms of a concussion, regardless of the level of
competition.