REEDSBURG—Concussions are a hot news topic, especially in relation to football. However, the rates in other sports, especially soccer and hockey, are nearly as high. Concussions don’t only occur in sports; anyone can get a concussion. They also happen in car accidents, on playgrounds, and at work.
A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by an indirect or direct force to the head, such as a hit or whiplash injury that causes the brain to shake inside the skull. Many people refer to a concussion as “getting your bell rung,” however, this term is no longer used as an accurate description of a concussion.
There are many symptoms of a concussion, including cognitive, emotional and physical symptoms. Therefore, each concussion can present itself differently. Some symptoms include having difficulty concentrating or remembering things, feeling “slowed down,” irritability, sadness, nervousness, headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, blurry vision, sensitivity to light or noise, and/or changes in sleep patterns. Very few concussions lead to a loss of consciousness.
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to be evaluated by an appropriate health care provider, such as a physician or licensed athletic trainer. After a concussion, a person will have concussion symptoms for seven to 10 days on average. However, each person is affected differently. It is important to be symptom-free before returning to any sport or high-risk situations because a second impact to the brain while the brain is healing can be detrimental, and sometimes fatal. A health care professional can help decide the proper timeline to return to sports and work activities.
There are many tools health care providers use to help return a patient with a concussion to sport and work. One of these tools, called the ImPACT test, is used in the return to play/work process as it establishes how your brain normally functions. Therefore, in the event of a head injury, the information gathered from this individualized test can be used to help manage the extent of the injury. There is an adult (ages 12 and older) and child (ages 5-12) version of the test. They are user-friendly and use a computer or iPAD tablet.
All are encouraged to sign up and get tested as soon as possible. The cost is only $10 for the child (5-12 years old) version and $15 for the adult version (12 and older).
Contact Reedsburg Area Medical Center’s Rehab Services at 608-768-6120 to schedule a time for a baseline ImPACT test or for more information.