Concussion Information

SportMedBC acknowledges that concussions are a complex pathophysiological injury. Research continues to expand upon what is currently understood and practiced in regards to concussion management.

Much of the information shared below is credited to the medical professionals associated with the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Berlin rich in October 2016.

Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport

SportMedBC supports the current recommended best practices for concussion management, however, recognizes that each respective concussion must be treated clinically on an individual basis.  A suspected concussion injury should always be assessed by a physician, and return to play should be guided by a medical professional with final clearance for return to play granted by a physician.

WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?

A concussion involves a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces.

A concussion is an injury to the brain that should be taken seriously. Care and management should be guided by a health care professional. 

HOW DOES A CONCUSSION OCCUR?

A concussion can occur from direct contact or falls involving the head, face, neck, chest, or anywhere in the body in which the force is transmitted to the brain. Forces can cause the brain to move rapidly within the skull causing impact and/or twisting of the brain. Impact may cause stretching and/or damage of nerve cells, resulting in a cascade of chemical events and altered cerebral blood flow.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF EXPERIENCING A CONCUSSION?

A concussion often results in the rapid onset of neurological impairments (Signs/Symptoms) that can impact cognitive and/or physical functioning, as well as cause emotional disturbances. In some situations, development of symptoms can be delayed (up to 72 hours). A concussed brain will be more vulnerable to increased stresses, including cognitive and physical work, and external stimuli such as bright light and loud noises. 

If not managed properly, concussions can lead to prolonged symptoms and associated complications.

*Read more on Concussion Management

Concussions are cumulative, and thus increases in risk and symptomatic effects are typical.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION?

A concussion cannot be detected by medical imaging.  Signs and symptoms can help to indicate the presence of a functional disturbance.

*Each individual may present different signs and symptoms, with varying severity. All signs and symptoms should be taken seriously and attention should be given to deteriorating conditions.

Concussion signs and symptoms can be broken down into 3 categories:

SOMATIC (Body)COGNITIVE (Mental)NEUROBEHAVIORAL
  • Headache/Pressure in head
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Blurred Vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound/noise
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Balance and/or coordination problems
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling in a fog
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Confusion
  • Disrupted sleeping patterns
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Sadness/depression
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability