Have you or a loved one ever suffered from a concussion? Head trauma can occur when the head strikes a stationary object, the head is stuck by an object, or from an acceleration/deceleration such in an auto accident in which rapid movement of the head occurs. These injuries can cause quick shifting of delicate brain tissue within the skull. An individual does not have to have a loss of consciousness for a serious head injury to occur. According to current research, a single concussion can disrupt nerve signals for up to 30 days. If additional concussions occur, there will be an increase in recovery time and symptoms can worsen. Often brain imaging does not show significant changes in the brain, but an individual may still have significant symptoms. Symptoms lasting 10 days after head trauma classify as Post-Concussion Syndrome. Recent studies recommend one week of cognitive rest. If you have any of these continuous symptoms please see a concussion specialist such as Mary Finck, PT, DPT or Camma Love OTR/L, CBIS.
Common Symptoms After a Concussion / Head Injury
- Neurological Changes (weakness in arms or legs)
- Seizure Activity
- Loss of Consciousness
- Unequal Pupil Size
- Confused or Slurred Speech
- Memory/Cognitive Changes
- Blurry or Double Vision
- Difficulty Reading
- Balance Deficits
- Tension Headaches
- Increased Fatigue Levels
- Light and/or Sound Sensitivity
- Slowed Processing
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Memory Loss
- Increased Sadness
- Mood Swings
- Increased Anxiety
- Sleeping More or Less than Usual
- Trouble Falling Asleep
Coping With Concussion / Head Injury Symptoms
The brain is an amazing organ that gets better as you use it. When you ask the brain to do something it can create new networks. This process is call neural plasticity. If the brain does not create these new neural pathways the dysfunctions ‘steal’ energy from the healing process.
Some tips for coping with your symptoms include doing things you enjoy. This lessens the likelihood of depression. Getting involved in gentle physical and cognitive activities is also a great way to improve recovery. Do not be too hard on yourself! Take breaks when you need them and allow your brain to heal naturally. But remember research has shown that rest is not best for healing a brain injury. Prolonged rest can slow down your recovery time and make symptoms more severe. A good rule to follow is 30-45 minutes of visual activity followed by 10-15 minutes of rest. While you are resting put light pressure on the eyelids or between the eyes to help with headaches. Slowly expose your brain to different environments and do not over exhaust yourself with errands. Everyone recovers differently so be patient with yourself.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a concussion or head injury seeking help can result in lifelong benefits! Give our team a call to find out how we can help you.