Before reading the following information regarding concussions, we acknowledge that the science surrounding concussions is ever evolving. We, at Sheddon Physio, do our best to stay up to date with the current literature. This blog article is meant to provide some education as to what concussions are, and some of the current research.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact your Sheddon Therapist!
What is it actually?
A frequent question that we get asked is “what is a concussion?”
Most often, googled results come up with difficult jargon and lengthy answers; this is because, with all the research and information that has recently been discovered, the answer really isn’t all that simple.
Its formal definition, from the British Journal of Sports Medicine released in 2013, defined a concussion as follows:
Concussion is a brain injury that is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, and induced by biomechanical forces. Several common features that incorporate clinical, pathological, and biomechanical injury constructs that may be utilised in defining the nature of a concussive head injury include:
Concussion may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an ‘‘impulsive” force transmitted to the head.
Concussion typically results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously. However, in some cases, symptoms and signs may evolve over a number of minutes to hours.
Concussion may result in neuropathological changes, but the acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury and, as such, no abnormality is seen on standard structural neuroimaging studies.
Concussion results in a graded set of clinical symptoms that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Resolution of the clinical and cognitive symptoms typically follows a sequential course. However, it is important to note that in some cases, symptoms may be prolonged.