A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions.  They are most often caused by a blow to the head but can happen when the head or upper body are violently shaken. Concussions are very common, especially with participation in contact sports.  Every concussion causes injury to the brain and this injury needs time, rest and often rehabilitation to heal properly.  Most concussions are mild traumatic injuries and patients can recovery fully if guided appropriately.

One reason why people don’t realize they have had a concussion is because they don’t always cause loss of consciousness. In fact many patients don’t experience symptoms from a concussion right away. However, it’s important not to take a head injury lightly or overlook a concussion because it can effect you well into the future. Did you know that some issues like post-traumatic seizures can manifest up to 5 years after an accident? It’s also good to be aware that once you sustain a concussion, you’re at a much higher risk of future injury and impairment.

The standard of care immediately after receiving a concussion is to be removed from play and to rest. Many people will improve greatly without doing anything but active therapy will help accelerate the process. Active rehab is best because your body responds to active rehab. The old methods of keeping a concussed person in a dark room for weeks on end has actually been shown to increase disability over time. The brain and nervous system respond robustly to active recovery in response to an injury.

Because there are no well-established guidelines about the specific application of certain therapies when it comes to concussions and other head injuries, it is at the discretion of the doctor helping you and is guided by his or her clinical experience and training from those with experience. This is why it’s important to work with a practitioner who understands brain function and can offer therapies that will help a patient improve their condition. Functional neurologists are well trained in brain function and they utilize brain-based therapies.

If you or a loved one suffers from a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, don’t wait around to see if your symptoms will go away. Take the time to find the right practitioner to work with who can offer proper diagnosis and brain-based therapies that are designed to restore your normal brain function and get you back to your every-day life. Concussions and brain injuries are very serious and shouldn’t be overlooked. A functional neurologist just may be the help that you were looking for.