What is Concussion?

A Concussion is a traumatic brain injury, which most commonly follows a direct blow to the head, but can also occur following a hit to the body that results in a similar acceleration or deceleration of the brain within the skull. Some concussions cause the sufferer to lose consciousness, but most do not. The traumatic forces initiate a complex cascade where cell function is disturbed and leads to temporary impairment of brain function.

Common symptoms of a concussion include headaches, confusion and cognitive difficulties, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, noise and light sensitivity, fatigue, and irritability.

It’s possible to have a concussion and not realize it. They can be difficult to diagnose as symptoms may not be present immediately following an impact and some symptoms that can present early can be similar to other common injuries such as whiplash.

Concussion impacts how the brain functions, rather than causing large changes to the brain’s infrastructure, and as a result a concussion cannot currently be detected by commonly available imaging techniques such as MRI or other standard brain scans.

Another important fact to be aware of is that symptoms often resolve before full recovery of the brain. This is a major reason why a full return to activity protocol should be followed in order to ensure your system has been given every opportunity to fully recover.

Support from The Personal Health Team

Recovering from a concussion can be a difficult and frustrating time. At Personal Health, we understand that each patient is affected differently and as such, requires tailored care. Management strategies are used to limit the amount of impairment as well as expedite recovery as much as possible. These strategies may include any one, or a combination of the following, and are always case-dependent:

Individualised Assessment

  • Comprehensive history taking so we can best understand your injury. This typically involves diving into the mechanism of your injury and how you have been feeling since the event, but also your general medical, educational and social background
  • Neurological screen
  • Balance testing and gait assessment
  • Strength and Coordination testing
  • Screening of visual motor skills
  • Vestibular (or equilibrium) testing if any signs of vertigo, dizziness or motion sensitivity
  • Thorough assessment of secondary injuries (e.g. neck, shoulders etc.)
  • Computerised neurocognitive testing (ImPACT – Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing)

Treatment and support strategies

  • Education on the injury, recovery trajectory and timelines, and answering any questions the client may have
  • Individualised relative resting strategies
  • Specific recommendations around employment/academic demands
  • Hands-on therapy and focused treatment plans for any associated or concurrent injuries (neck pain, whiplash etc.)
  • Visual motor rehabilitation
  • Vestibular therapy and balance retraining
  • Physical exertion testing and exercise plans for return-to-sport guidance
  • Refer to allied health professionals as needed, for example to a Doctor (Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Sports Medicine etc), Occupational Therapist, Psychologist or Optometrist who has training and experience dealing with concussion.

The above testing procedures may not all be completed on the first visit. The assessment methods used are tailored to the immediate needs of the athlete and each Healthcare Provider uses his/her discretion on a case-by-case basis.

Please call or email if you have any questions about our concussion clinic!

 01 496 4002