If you have a fall or sports-related head injury, be ready to seek immediate medical attention. Concussions may be mild, moderate or severe. If loss of consciousness for even a few seconds occurs, see a health care professional to have the injury checked out. You should also seek medical care in the case of symptoms that last more than about 15 minutes, including but not limited to vomiting, loss of speech, weakness or dizziness.
Regardless of the grade of concussion you may think you have, keep in mind that only a medical professional can really determine how serious your condition is and whether or not you need medical help. If you have a minor concussion or suspect a more severe injury, give yourself a break from normal activities until all symptoms are gone. This may take a few minutes or hours, but in some cases, it can take days or up to a week or more. Successive or repeat concussions can be very dangerous and may lead to long-term disabilities. This is why athletes typically require medical clearance following a head injury before they can return to game play.
Danger signs to be on the lookout for following a bump, blow or jolt to the head include repeated vomiting or nausea, slurred speech, numbness or weakness, and a worsening, persistent headache. These may be signs of a dangerous blood clot and emergency medical care is necessary right away if they occur. Other symptoms that require immediate medical attention include convulsions or seizures, extreme drowsiness and the inability to be awakened, extreme confusion or agitation, unusual behavior or loss of consciousness.
Ongoing symptoms should be checked out even if you at first believed you just had a bump on the head and did not suspect concussion at all. Rest is very important for concussion recovery; the brain needs time to recover and properly heal from traumatic injury. If concussion symptoms worsen over 24 to 72 hours, be sure to seek help, whether or not you saw a health care professional at the time of injury.
Regardless of whether or not you seek immediate medical attention for a concussion, you should do so if symptoms persist. If you’ve already sought the help of your primary care doctor and are still struggling with concussion symptoms, consider seeking care from a functional neurologist right away. A medical doctor’s care typically helps with immediate evaluation and stabilization in the case of concussion. However, this is only the first step in therapy and rehabilitation. In order to ensure long-term success with recovery, seek and begin ongoing care as soon as possible after injury.
Even if your concussion occurred months or years before, a chiropractor with the right experience and knowledge can likely help you overcome stubborn symptoms. It’s very possible that with the right therapies, functional neurology can help with the formation of new brain connections to improve overall brain function. This rehabilitation in areas previously damaged by brain trauma may help with long term symptom and side effect relief.