Concussion Education Resources
Why is education important?
Understanding impact on your today, tomorrow, and in the future
A concussion is a form of "traumatic brain injury (TBI) induced by biomechanical forces” which results in subtle changes in brain function within minutes to hours. Source 1
Concussions affect your brain's ability to process information, coordinate body systems, and understand social cues. Decreased academic, occupational, and athletic abilities for weeks to years following injury may result if treated incorrectly. (Sources 2, 3)
Knowing what to look out for and how to communicate with the experts
Just like snowflakes and fingerprints, every injury will present with it's own unique set of signs and symptoms.
Having a trusted and reliable source of current information on concussions is important to getting the best possible care.
Expert designed resources match the style and flow of conversations regarding concussion, so there is less confusion overall.
Skill building for a successful recovery
Reporting a concussion through a 3 step process builds on the recognition abilities and injury knowledge covered here.
Developing these skills to help recovery can reduce the impact of a concussion on school, work, and athletic performance.
Whatever role you play, having these skills will help yourself and those around you to have a better recovery.
Recognizing a Concussion
How this injury happens, or mechanism of injury
A force transmitted through the brain may cause this injury. This can happen through direct or indirect force to the head.
What is a concussion?
Changes in brain function appear by any number of different signs and symptoms.
Functional changes (signs & symptoms) can present immediately, or minutes to hours after a mechanism.
Signs & symptoms can’t be connected to existing health concerns or medications.
Head and neck injuries may occur in events that cause concussion, and will result in loss of life if treated incorrectly. These red flags are important to address before any concussion evaluation, and should be addressed immediately by a trained medical professional.
Call 911 immediately if any of these red flags are present.
Loss of circulation, airway, or breathing
Broken bones of the head or neck
Direct injury to the central nervous system in the spinal cord or brain
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If the injury of concussion is considered the driver of a car, these associated conditions are considered passengers who came along for the ride. Recognizing and treating these conditions are important for improving your recovery.
Difficulty going to sleep
Difficulty staying asleep
Daytime fatigue or tiredness
Stiffness in neck region
Head, neck, or shoulder pain
Injury to neck muscle/ligaments
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Signs and Symptoms of Concussion
Every injury has its own unique set of signs and symptoms (S&S), even within the same person. Currently, experts have found that these fall within five main areas: cognitive, oculomotor, mood, migraine, and vestibular.
Types of concussion may present all at the same time or only a single one. Most significant signs and symptoms affecting you is the type used to describe your concussion, which may change multiple times from a single injury.
Overlap of signs and symptoms between types and associated conditions makes this injury a challenge. Medical professionals trained specifically in concussion management are the experts who can lead you to the best recovery.
Plans for treating a concussion is different for everyone, with the minimum requirement being medical care.
Rehabilitation and exercise are two forms of treatment to help recover; specific recommendations for you must come from a medical professional providing you care that are tailored to your specific injury at that time.
As the definition of what "full recovery" continues to be studied, timelines are difficult to determine.
Currently, returning to sports, school, or work without any concussion symptoms ("symptom resolution") is accepted as the standard for recovery. Symptom resolution typically takes longer in children than adults.
Schema encourages you to have a conversation with the healthcare provider you would see for a concussion to understand what they use as a definition for recovery and what timeline would be expected for you or your child.
Who is involved? Who can help me the most?
You are the best person to help yourself. Preparation before injury will help you to know where to go if any challenges present.
Your formal care team includes licensed healthcare providers, ideally trained in concussion management.
Your informal care team are the people you interact with in daily life.
Skills for Success
Be a Helpful Bystander - ReHAct
Did you see a dangerous impact or notice that someone might have signs/symptoms?
Take responsibility to promote a culture of concussion safety by moving to Step 2.
Decide How to Act
Have you discussed a plan of action previously? If not, now is the best time to figure out a plan.
Consider your plans for potential concussion. Try to bring medical care in as soon as possible.
Choose to Act
Carry out the plan which will result in the best possible health for the person with the suspected injury.
Take the action for best concussion care; which can be as simple as speaking up.
1. McCrory P, Meeuwisse W, Dvorak J, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport—the 5 th international conference on concussion in sport held in Berlin, October 2016. Br J Sports Med. April 2017:bjsports-2017-097699. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2017-097699
3. Carroll LJ, Cassidy JD, Cancelliere C, et al. Systematic Review of the Prognosis After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Adults: Cognitive, Psychiatric, and Mortality Outcomes: Results of the International Collaboration on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Prognosis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014;95(3):S152-S173. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2013.08.300
9. Makdissi M, Schneider KJ, Feddermann-Demont N, et al. Approach to investigation and treatment of persistent symptoms following sport-related concussion: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2017;51(12):958-968. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-097470
10. Haider MN, Leddy JJ, Pavlesen S, et al. A systematic review of criteria used to define recovery from sport-related concussion in youth athletes. Br J Sports Med. 2018;52(18):1179-1190. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096551
12. Register-Mihalik J, Baugh C, Kroshus E, Y. Kerr Z, Valovich McLeod TC. A Multifactorial Approach to Sport-Related Concussion Prevention and Education: Application of the Socioecological Framework. J Athl Train. 2017;52(3):195-205. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-51.12.02