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recognize a concussion

How To Recognize A Concussion

recognize a concussion
Sometimes accidents happen. Whether you are a pro or novice athlete on the field or just your average human navigating earth. Concussions can and do happen to anyone; small children that have had an injury at the playground, drivers in car accidents, and the elderly who have experienced a fall, are all potentially at risk for concussions. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of a concussion and take proper action.

In a definition provided by the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

Common symptoms for someone experiencing a concussion include:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Fuzzy or blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness & balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Lethargy
  • Irritable or sad
  • Nervous or anxious
  • Irregular sleep patterns

If a person shows extreme symptoms, it’s important to take them to the emergency room immediately. These include:

  • Unconscious or have had a brief loss of consciousness
  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Having convulsions or seizures
  • Cannot recognize people or places
  • Unusual behavior
  • Headache that gets worse and does not go away

More information for parents:

Child has a possible concussion

In every scenario, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Physical therapy can play an important role in monitoring the healing process after a concussion has occurred. As physical therapists, we are trained in the step-by-step process of monitoring the post-concussed patient, and safely returning them to their previous activities. Getting diagnosed and seeking medical attention immediately is crucial to a healthy recovery. For more information about concussions visit and our page on concussion recovery.

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Exercise has been shown to improve brain function

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As physical therapists, we want to see you active and independent. One of the best ways to accomplish those goals is through exercise. Exercise can improve your sleep, strengthen bones, bolster your immune system, control weight, decrease falling risks, decrease anxiety, improve your stamina, improve digestion… and the list goes on. But, none more compelling is what exercise does for the mind. In fact, John J. Ratey, MD, a Harvard psychiatrist claims, “Exercise is for the brain, not the body.”

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