Heads Up on ConcussionsIN ORTHOPEDICS
Your brain floats within your skull surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which cushions it from the light bounces of everyday movement. But the fluid may not be able to absorb the force of a sudden hard blow or quick stop. A violent jar or shock to your head can cause your brain to slide forcefully against the inner wall of your skull and become bruised. You may not lose consciousness, but you may experience bleeding in or around your brain and the tearing of nerve fibers. Are You or Someone You Care About at Risk?
A major risk factor for concussion is playing sports, especially high-impact, competitive sports or ones in which falls are possible. You may also be at risk if you've already had a concussion. Previous head trauma may make you more susceptible to future problems. Immediate Signs
Symptoms of a concussion can last for days, weeks, or longer, and they can be very subtle. After a blow to your head, there may not be any physical signs, but you'll need to stay alert for mental or emotional changes. In addition, tell a family member or close friend if you have a blow to the head so they can help you watch for changes and help you arrange for medical attention. Sometimes, people who suffer a head injury may even forget about it until after the diagnosis and sometimes even after the treatment. As reported by Aetna InteliHealth (www.intelihealth.com), some of the immediate signs of a concussion for which you should seek immediate medical attention may include:
- confusion and amnesia
- convulsions, nausea, or vomiting
- difficulty walking, poor coordination, or slurred speech
- drowsiness or loss of consciousness
- headache or ringing in the ears
- irrational or aggressive behavior
- numbness or paralysis in any part of the body
- unusual eye movements, unequal pupil size, or double vision
Many head injuries are preventable, and being aware, cautious, and respecting your body are great first steps toward prevention. Unfortunately, people don't always take advantage of these other simple and effective protections:
- Avoid dangerous sports.
- Have your vision checked regularly, as poor vision can increase your risk of falls or other accidents.
- Wear safety equipment, shoes, and a properly fitting helmet appropriate for each activity.
|Ample Rest Is Essential for Concussion Recovery|
Ample rest is essential for recovery from a concussion, and it can also help you avoid additional accidents and injury and keep you healthier overall.
If you push yourself too hard when exercising, you risk becoming overly fatigued. According to Aetna InteliHealth and Harvard Medical School's Consumer Health Information Web sites (www.intelihealth.com), surveys indicate that injury rates rise sharply when people exercise more than five days per week. Follow these guidelines to allow yourself adequate recovery time between exercise sessions.