What Are Concussions?
Many people have known someone who has or has personally experienced a concussion. Concussions are prevalent, but people often do not know what exactly they are. In this blog post, we discuss what concussions are and what can be done about them.
What Are Concussions?
A concussion is a type of brain injury that occurs when a blunt force is applied to the head. When this happens, the force causes the skull and the brain to come in contact with one another and disrupts neural networks throughout the brain. Sometimes, this may cause part of the brain to hemorrhage, or bleed. Brain tissue becomes damaged due to the force applied to it, resulting in structural damage and cognitive impairment.
How Do People Get Concussions?
People can get concussions from playing contact sports, falling, motor vehicle accidents, or experiencing violence.
How Can I Prevent Getting a Concussion?
Many causes of concussions are preventable. For example, it is important to wear a helmet when engaging in athletic activities where there is contact. Parents must watch their children to prevent falls and ensure that they do not fall off playground equipment and for older adults to use railings while walking down a stairwell. Lastly, being a good and alert driver may help prevent concussions and help you stay safe and avoid a motor vehicle accident.
What Problems Do People Have After A Concussion?
Concussions can cause a variety of problems. Physically, people may have seizures, headaches, or blurred vision as a result of brain damage to different areas of the brain. Cognitively, people may have difficulty concentrating, making decisions, reading, or forming coherent sentences when speaking. Lastly, concussions are scary! Sometimes, people may experience depression, anxiety, or PTSD as a result of having a concussion, especially when the concussion was caused by a traumatic event like a motor vehicle accident.
What Can Be Done About Concussions?
Treatment for concussions often involves a combination of interventions. A wide variety of therapists work with people who have had a concussion:
Occupational therapists: occupational therapists often work with concussion patients to help them resume work, schooling, or daily activities. as people living with concussions need to learn how to adapt to how their brain works and need accommodations to help them participate in the workplace or in their academic environment.
Speech therapists: speech therapists may work with concussion patients who have difficulty speaking, aphasia, or have trouble organizing their speech.
Psychologists: psychologists may work with concussion patients to help them adjust to life post-injury and help them regulate their mood and emotions, as living with a concussion can be very difficult.
Neuropsychologists: neuropsychologists work with concussion patients to assess their cognitive functioning. After experiencing a concussion, neuropsychologists will often assess a patient’s alertness, attention, memory, executive functioning, and visual-spatial skills to see if a patient is experiencing cognitive impairment as a result of their concussion.
Bosses and teachers must also be aware of concussions, as they impact someone’s ability to work and learn effectively. People living with concussions may ask for work or school accommodations, such as the ability to take breaks or have more time to take a test. It is important that people involved in a person with a concussion’s life are aware of a person’s needs, so as to avoid causing someone distress and allow them to perform their job or participate in school activities in a way that is feasible for them.
What Can Be Done About Cognitive Impairment From A Concussion?
A wide variety of therapists and clinical providers work with people who have concussions. One thing all of these professionals may do is provide cognitive remediation therapy or therapy that helps clients build and practice cognitive skills. Sometimes, this kind of therapy is done by using digital cognitive therapy tools or cognitive worksheets that allow the client to practice the building blocks of essential cognitive skills. While this therapy is commonly done with people who have psychological disorders, it can be adapted to help people who have experienced a concussion in order to help them get back to work or school and live an independent life.
A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when blunt force is applied to the head and the brain and skull make contact, thus damaging the brain tissue. Concussions can cause physical, psychological, and cognitive impairments, thus requiring people living with concussions to work with a variety of clinical professionals to help them recover and live with having a concussion. Common causes of concussion can be prevented, such as by using protective headgear while playing contact sports, being a careful driver, and being mindful of walking up and downstairs to prevent falling. Concussions are a common brain injury that affects people of all ages, and with time a person may recover and be able to resume most of their daily activities.