What is a Concussion?

According to the most recent Zurich consensus statement, a concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) as it is sometimes called, is a complex process affecting the brain induced by biomechanical forces. The forces that they are referring to are acceleration or impulse forces delivered to the brain. Concussions cause a temporary dysfunction in the involved nerves, where they don’t work properly for a period of time and may cause any one, or more, of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Pressure in the head
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling of “fogginess”
  • Not feeling right or feeling off
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • More emotional
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Nervous or anxious
If you, or your child is experiencing ANY of these symptoms following a significant hit or blow to the head or body, you should have a high suspicion of a concussion injury and seek medical attention immediately.

Generally, under proper management, most athletes recover completely from their concussions.  However, if not managed properly, and the athlete is allowed to return-to-play too early, they are at risk of a severe, potentially permanent, or even fatal brain injury, should they sustain another concussion while in the 'dysfunctional' phase (where the brain is still healing).