Concussion Resources


Ten Things You Should Know About Concussion

  1. Concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head, face, neck or body that causes a sudden jarring of the brain and impulsive force inside the skull (ie. body check in hockey, tackle in football or rugby, collision in soccer, a fall on the playground or off your bike).
  2. Concussion is a functional injury to the brain as opposed to structural damage. There is no bleed or bruise to the brain and there are no abnormalities seen on standard imaging studies. Remember that a concussion cannot be seen on a CT scan or MRI of the head.
  3. You can have a concussion without the loss of consciousness. In fact, most concussions do NOT involve loss of consciousness.
  4. A child’s brain is still developing and requires a unique, more conservative approach to concussion management.
  5. If you think you have had a concussion, you should immediately remove yourself from the current activity/sport. It is never safe to return to play the same day if concussion is suspected. You should not be left alone and you should be assessed by a health care professional.
  6. Concussion symptoms can be physical (headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, sensitive to light and noise), cognitive (poor memory, concentration and information processing/retention), and emotional (irritability, sadness, anxiety, poor sleep).
  7. Most concussions resolve quickly but 10-15% of people have symptoms that last longer than 4 weeks and thus a longer road to recovery. Everyone’s experience is different and not everyone reacts the same way after a head injury. It is impossible to predict how long a concussion will last.
  8. It is essential for optimal recovery to rest your mind (school, work, reading, studying, screen time including TV, computer, texting, smart board, video games) and body (exercise, training, sport). To get better you need mental and physical rest and you need to pace, conserve energy, eat healthy and get enough sleep.
  9. Be patient because it takes time for the brain to heal and recover. Only when symptoms have improved significantly will gradual progressive return to school/work/physical activity/sport be introduced.
  10. You should be assessed by a physician with experience diagnosing and managing sport related concussions such as a CASEM certified Sport Medicine Physician such as those working at the Carleton Sport Medicine Clinic.