Athletes seem to get all the headlines when it comes to discussions about properly managing the effects of concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury. But concussions also can be caused by automobile accidents, falls and other blows to the head. People of all ages — athletes and non-athletes — can suffer from a concussion, and it is important to evaluate and treat the symptoms for all concussion patients.
Concussions can cause symptoms that may last hours, days, weeks or months. Often, the symptoms are subtle and an individual will merely complain of not feeling like “my old self.” The most commonly reported symptoms include: headache, nausea, dizziness, fogginess, fatigue, memory problems, irritability, difficulty concentrating, sensory (light and sound) sensitivity and depression.
“While concussion management among athletes of all ages involves evaluating, treating and managing symptoms in order to return to sports, treatment for non-athletes focuses on guiding the individual back to normal activities, such as work, school and leisure activities,” says Martin Diorio, Ph.D., neuropsychologist, Good Shepherd Concussion Program. “Brain rest is very important when someone has a concussion, and a gradual return to activities as symptoms subside is recommended.”
If recovery is complicated or symptoms persist, a concussion patient may require specialized treatments, such as physical, occupational, cognitive and neuropsychological therapies. Receiving care through a comprehensive concussion management program that includes a team of clinical experts assures that the patient will receive optimal care and is able to return to life’s activities as soon as possible.