What Is A Concussion?
A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a blow or jolt to the head and/or body that causes the brain to bounce or twist within the skull. This sudden movement can stretch or shear cells, create ionic imbalances, and create energy deficits within the brain that lead to a temporary disruption in neurological function. This disruption can cause an individual to experience short-term physical, cognitive, emotional, and/or sleep-related issues.
Common Causes of Concussion
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
In Canada, approximately 50% of traumatic brain injuries occur due to a fall or motor vehicle accident (Brain Injury Canada, 2017).
Common Signs & Symptoms after a Concussion
Following a concussion you may experience any or all of the following signs and symptoms:
- Sensitivity to noise
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling irritable or easily agitated
- Feeling nervous or anxious
- Sleep disruption
- Blurry vision
- Balance issues
- Poor concentration and memory
What Do I Do If I Have A Concussion?
In the event that you have sustained a concussion, it is recommended that you follow-up with your family doctor for immediate medical attention.
If you experience any of the following RED FLAG symptoms you should go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY
- Severe or worsening headache
- Neck pain
- Unequal, dilated, or unresponsive pupils
- Excessive drowsiness
- Repeated vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Seizure or convulsions
- Unusual change in behaviors
- Increased confusion or irritability
- Weakness and/or burning/tingling in arms or legs
- Loss of consciousness
After a concussion, both physical and cognitive rest is important, especially within the first 24 – 48 hours (acute phase). Research indicates that after a brief period of rest (1-2 days), you should begin to gradually increase your level of daily activity (Activity should not bring on or worsen your symptoms). A concussion is a unique and highly individualized injury. Recovery times will, therefore, vary from person to person. The majority of people will notice an improvement in their symptoms within the first few days after injury. Approximately 10 – 15% of people, however, may experience prolonged recovery, with symptoms persisting for days, weeks, or months after injury. Early assessment and intervention by a trained health professional is essential and can help to facilitate your recovery.
InMotion Concussion Clinic
If you have experienced a concussion and are struggling to manage your symptoms or return to your daily activities (e.g. work, school, or sports), then we recommend that you contact Occupational Therapist Lori Mercer, our concussion clinic coordinator, to arrange a concussion management assessment.
Lori Mercer, is a licensed Occupational Therapist, in good standing with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Therapy Board. Lori graduated from Dalhousie University in 2013 with a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy. She also has a Bachelor of Recreation degree from Memorial University.
Lori’s primary area of practice is concussion management. She is a certified provider of the SHIFT Concussion Management Program, an ImPACT trained Occupational Therapist and certified to administer BrainFX 360. Since finishing her Master’s degree, Lori has completed extensive course work and certification in concussion management, vestibular rehabilitation, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and cognitive functional capacity evaluation. She is dedicated to continuing her education in these areas in order to provide the highest quality of care to our clients. Lori is also very passionate about promoting brain injury awareness within our province. She currently serves as a board member of the Newfoundland Brain Injury Association and the CNIB.
As an Occupational Therapist, Lori’s focus is to help you get back to the things you need and want to do. This may include returning to work, school, and/or sports after a concussion. During your initial assessment, Lori will conduct a thorough evaluation of your injury, determine your
rehabilitation needs, and assist you on your road to recovery.
Referrals to physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, psychology, and/or optometry will be completed on an as needed basis.