Concussions are common injuries, especially for people who play contact sports, like football. The Mayo Clinic reports that more than 3 million people get a concussion each year. Many people don’t think of them as dangerous, especially if you don’t lose consciousness. These injuries, however, can be very serious.
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Your brain floats in a fluid inside your skull, called cerebrospinal fluid, which protects the brain from crashing into the skull. When someone receives some sort of blow to the head, the fluid isn’t enough. The brain can strike the inside of the skull and become injured, and the injury interrupts normal brain function.
The Causes of a Concussion
You can receive a concussion in many ways, some more violent than others. Anything that causes a blow to the head or even the body can cause a concussion. Here are some common causes:
- Playground accidents
- Contact sports
- Car or bike accidents
The Symptoms of a Concussion
A concussion can have very subtle symptoms. Sometimes, they only appear a few days after the accident. While most concussion symptoms only last for a few days, others may last for months or more. Here are some common concussion symptoms:
- Amnesia of the accident
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusion, like being in a fog
- Headache or a feeling of pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dazed look
- Delayed thinking
Some symptoms can be delayed. They are commonly different from the above:
- Concentration or memory complaints
- Irritability or personality changes
- Light sensitivity
- Poor sleep
- Taste or smell disorders
Since children can be very active, and fall frequently, concussions are common in their demographic. They can be harder to detect, however, because children can’t always accurately describe their symptoms.
Because a concussion comes from a blow to the head or body, it is usually accompanied by neck and spinal misalignment. This misalignment can cause neck and back pain as well as cervicogenic headaches.
The Treatment of a Concussion
While a concussion is usually considered a mild traumatic brain injury and most people fully recover within hours or days, it always requires monitoring by a medical professional. If you suspect a concussion, go to the emergency room right away.
If you or your child received a concussion from contact sports, a chiropractor can assess the athlete’s condition and help the athlete transition back into normal play.
A chiropractor can also correct any spinal misalignments in the neck and spine. Because the spine absorbs much of the impact of a blow to the head, the symptoms of a concussion are multiplied by misalignment. Your chiropractor can ease those symptoms.
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