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How to Tell if You Have a Concussion

man holding neck in pain sitting in carNot all injuries in an auto accident are visible. Although a patient may have not hit their head or suffered a loss of consciousness, a concussion can still occur.

The brain sits inside the skull with fluid known as the cerebrospinal fluid—this fluid helps protect the brain for everyday bumps and shakes. When the head experiences a trauma, such as sudden acceleration, deceleration or impact from an auto accident, it may cause the brain to slide back and forth on the inner part of your skull- resulting in a brain injury or concussion.

Symptoms of a Concussion

Symptoms associated with concussion are headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, dilated pupils, blurred vision, sleep disturbances and memory loss. These symptoms can become apparent immediately or days following an injury. Concussions can be classified into six types—cognitive/fatigue: relating to memory, vestibular: relating to balance, ocular: unable to focus on objects with your eyes, post-traumatic migraine: having light and sound sensitivity which cause intense headaches and nausea, cervical: relating to tension in the upper neck, also creating headaches and lastly, anxiety/mood: this affects the patient’s personality causing them to become irritable.

Although there are various ways to test for concussion, “ACE”, Acute Concussion Evaluation, is the most common type of patient evaluation and is the test used here at Twins Chiropractic and Physical Medicine. This in-depth questionnaire documents the patient’s symptoms and determine the severity of the concussion. Concussions grades are based on factors such as loss of consciences and how long symptoms last — mild (grade 1- no loss of consciences, 15 minutes of symptoms), moderate (grade 2- no loss of consciences, symptoms longer than 15 minutes) and severe (grade 3- loss of conscience, usually about 30 seconds). If a patient has experienced a grade 3 concussion it is important for them to seek immediate medical attention.

Receiving a Positive Diagnosis

If diagnosed with a concussion, it is important to rest from daily activities and consult with a doctor regarding your injury. If symptoms are recurring or become more intense it is important to inform your provider and a possible neuro consult may be recommended. Once diagnosed with a concussion, preventing another is crucial; repeated concussions may have serious long-term effects.

If you’ve had a head injury and want to be evaluated, contact our practice to book your appointment.

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Concussions Irvine | (657) 263-4696