Concussion and How to Recognize the Symptoms

At one point or another, we have all received a mild bump or even a blow to the head.  You may have even ignored it, thinking it’s “no big deal”. Have you considered that bump to the head could have caused a concussion?  Whether you are an athlete or just your average human navigating earth. Concussions can and do happen to anyone; small children that have had an injury at the playground, drivers in car accidents, and the elderly who have experienced a fall, are all potentially at risk for concussions. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of a concussion and take proper action.

According to the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. Even a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

Common symptoms for someone experiencing a concussion include:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Fuzzy or blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness & balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Lethargy
  • Irritable or sad
  • Nervous or anxious
  • Irregular sleep patterns

If a person shows extreme symptoms, it’s important to take them to the emergency room immediately. These include:

  • Unconscious or have had a brief loss of consciousness
  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Having convulsions or seizures
  • Cannot recognize people or places
  • Unusual behavior
  • Headache that gets worse and does not go away

If you believe a loved one has experienced a concussion:

In every scenario, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Physical therapy can play an important role in monitoring the healing process after a concussion has occurred. As physical therapists, we are trained in the step-by-step process of monitoring the post-concussed patient, and safely returning them to their previous activities. Getting diagnosed and seeking medical attention immediately is crucial to a healthy recovery. For more information about concussions visit