One good way to conceptualize a concussion is to think of your brain like an egg. When it is resting, the yolk is in the center of the egg, undisturbed. When the egg is shaken, the yolk splatters along the inside of the egg. If the brain absorbs a severe enough impact, its activities will be similarly disturbed. Because of this disruption, the brain cannot focus on giving the rest of your body the right signals, and it displays symptoms of a concussion. Here at the Virginia Spine Institute we have a team dedicated to diagnosing and treating your concussion early.
Concussion can affect many parts of our lives. They can affect many systems in our bodies, causing symptoms that include but are not limited to the following:
The vast majority of people who have concussions recover completely. While it may take weeks at a time, early treatment can help get you back to normal as soon as possible.
A concussion can result from a direct blow to the head. However, thinking again of the yolk inside the egg, if the brain is shaken inside the skull such as when a car suddenly comes to a stop, a concussion can occur. A concussion can also happen from a blast injury, which is often seen in patients in the military with nearby explosions.
A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury. Moderate and severe traumatic brain injury, which usually results in prolonged loss of consciousness, is more serious than a concussion, which may or may not result in brief loss of consciousness.
Patients experience concussions in different ways. It is important to identify which of the systems listed above are affected. Physical therapy can be helpful in treating neck pain, balance, and vision difficulties. Medications can help with headaches. Therapy and medications can both help with mood and cognition. Here at the Virginia Spine Institute, you will undergo a thorough evaluation with our neurologist to determine which of the treatment options is best for you.
Your doctor will help inform you on a gradual approach to returning to your daily routine. Typically, as your symptoms improve, your doctor may encourage you to gradually return to parts of your daily routine. If no symptoms arise, your doctor may recommend introducing light, then moderate, then regular activity as long as you do not have symptoms. Every concussion is different, so the exact timeline will depend on how you respond to treatment and to physical activity.