The Canadian Paediatric Society defines a concussion as a complex process generated by a biomechanical force that affects the brain. Simply put, a concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury. Impairment of neurologic function is rapid but short-lived, and it resolves on its own.
You can suffer a concussion not only from a direct blow to your head, face or neck but also from impact to the body that transmits that force to your head. Contrary to a common belief, loss of consciousness does not happen with most concussions or it lasts for only a few seconds.
The recent concussion statistics are disturbing, especially for school aged children. There is a noticeable concern about the same young person suffering repeated concussions. According to studies done in the United States:
What Should Be Done after a Concussion?
If you suspect your child has experienced a concussion, respond as soon as possible even if the trauma seems mild. Many concussions experienced on the playing field may not need immediate medical care, but coaches and parents should know to keep the child under observation for at least a few hours after the injury. Don’t let your high school drivers get behind the wheel after a concussion.
We also recommend:
How Is a Concussion Diagnosed?
Because of the variations in symptoms and complexity of brain functions, diagnosing a concussion is not easy. Even standard concussion diagnostic tools that work well for adults may not help diagnose younger patients. Generally, taking a thorough history and creating a symptom profile can help measure the severity of neurological effects and the possible outcomes.
What Effects Can a Concussion Have?
A concussion can affect athletic performance and incidence of other sports injuries. In one study, researchers found that athletes are 3.79 times more likely to suffer a muscle or ligament injury after suffering a concussion than those who haven’t.
Other long-term effects on younger student-athletes who have suffered a concussion should concern parents and teachers, as well as coaches and health professionals. According to neuropsychology researcher Danielle Ransom in the journal Pediatrics®, concentration, paying attention, and classroom performance in school pose more problems after a concussion, shortly after the injury and even after recovery.
According to another published study “Academic Effects of Concussion in Children and Adolescents” in Pediatrics, 349 students ages 5 to 18 who had not recovered from a concussion reported negative effects on their learning and performance or grades. The more recent the concussion, the more academic trouble the students and their parents reported, with high school students experiencing more problems.
Up to 88% of students in the study still recovering from a concussion reported symptoms that affected their school work, including:
The researchers suggest that school personnel can help students with their academic performance and prevent a longer recovery time by being aware of post-concussion symptoms. Medical professionals can make specific recommendations to relieve the worry both students and parents may have about the impact of a concussion on learning.
It’s not easy to predict how soon a child can begin handling their normal school workload when recovering from a concussion. Still, some adjustments can help performance and even recovery. Danielle Ransom has some suggestions for supporting a transition back into school:
What Is Your Chiropractor’s Role in Managing a Concussion?
Your chiropractor can be an important team member in managing concussion injuries. Trauma causes a concussion and can be treated along with other traumatic injuries like whiplash, neck strain or subluxation. Chiropractors are trained professionals able to deal with the multiple facets of a concussion, from prevention to assessment, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Chiropractic training and education in neurology, musculoskeletal function, nutrition and exercise prepare your practitioner as a member of your concussion treatment team.
Do you have questions about chiropractic treatment in the Stouffville area or concussion treatment in particular? Stouffville Health Centre invites you to contact us for information or to book a consultation.