Muskegon, MI

945. E. Sherman Blvd.
P. 231.737.4374

Grand Rapids, MI

4095 Park East Court SE
P: 616.259.4028

Grand Haven, MI

16760 Lincoln Street
P: 616.935.3300

NOCHS, Grand Haven, MI

1015 S. Beacon Blvd.
P: 616.847.5293

Concussions: Real threat or don’t believe the hype?

Concussions: Real threat or don’t believe the hype?

Which of these statements is true regarding concussions?

  • Concussions only occur as a result of a blow to the head
  • They aren’t really a serious injury
  • It is important to continually wake up the person to monitor their symptoms
  • There isn’t anything to help concussions but time and rest?

If you said none, you would be correct!

Concussions have continued to make headlines over the last few years, even being turned into a blockbuster movie starring Mr. Fresh Prince. Yes, the actor/musician Will Smith, starred as the doctor that raised concerns in the NFL in light of the unfortunate suicides that seemed to on the rise. Terms like Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and Tau protein started to get thrown around; families started donating their loved one’s brains to science to further study said terms and the effects of repeated concussions or trauma to the head. While sports seems to be in the news most often as a leading contributor to concussions, concussions may occur from major motor vehicle accidents to things as minor as falling out of bed.

So what exactly is a concussion? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. That sounds pretty serious, but are concussions really that serious? That is a fairly complicated question, but the bottom line is, yes, they can be. While the majority of concussions may be mild and do not result in serious complications, they are still considered a mild traumatic brain injury and can have long-standing effects on the person and their loved ones. Concussion sufferers can experience an array of symptoms including feeling foggy or dizzy, sensitivities to light or noise, emotional symptoms/mood changes, and sleep disturbances. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as a concussion is suspected.

It is reported that up to 80-85 % of concussions heal on their own in the first 2 weeks, however, it is still important to seek the medical care of Doctors, athletic trainers and even Physical/Occupational Therapists as soon as able. Many concussions go unreported and undiagnosed and leave lingering symptoms like headaches, motion sickness and difficulty concentrating; hence the importance for early diagnosis and management! The quicker we can start treating the patient, the higher the rate of success! It is imperative that people, medical professionals, coaches, etc. be trained in recognizing the symptoms of a concussion to ensure proper diagnosis and early intervention/management. For some, it may be necessary to have medications prescribed for symptoms such as headaches and difficulty sleeping, but it also important to address other symptoms such as balance, neck pain/headaches, visual and oculomotor difficulties and metabolic deficits.

That is where we come in here at Generation Care! We have highly qualified therapists well trained in the management and treatment of all concussion symptoms. We offer a comprehensive evaluation and treatment from a multidisciplinary approach, utilizing our expert Physical and Occupational Therapists. We also offer Speech therapy as indicated based on any of the patient’s symptoms and any residual cognitive deficits. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with or has a suspected concussion, our comprehensive approach covers all facets of symptoms, from neck and TMJ pain to dizziness, cognition, balance, and headaches. The staff here at Generation Care works closely with our patient’s doctors, families and all involved, in order to ensure the highest quality care and prompt return to a symptom-free life!

Jeff Rigley, MSPT, C/ART