Headaches are one of the most common reasons that people see their primary care physician and they account for 20% of outpatient visits to neurologists.
People with chronic (or persistent) headaches report disabling symptoms that interfere with daily activities. Multiple concussions only increase these risks. And with so much conflicting data available on the internet, it can be tough to know how to manage a concussion should you suffer from one.
According to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s 2016 Health of America Report on concussions, the incidence of concussions among adolescents between the ages of 10-19 rose a staggering 71 percent between 2010 and 2015. For girls, the incidence spiked 119 percent during that time, though almost twice as many concussions were diagnosed in boys. Sports related concussions in adolescents account for 30% of concussions. The other 70% are a result of falls, traffic accidents, or being struck or hit.
How Can I Tell if I Have a Concussion?
One of the challenges of diagnosing concussions is that symptoms can occur at different times. For some people, they appear instantly, but for others it can be hours or even days.
Symptoms also vary from person to person. There are a number of signs and symptoms to be aware of, including the following:
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Vertigo, the sensation of spinning
- Impaired postural control
- Reduced Focus
I Know I Have a Concussion. How Do I Manage It?
Though there has been an increase in awareness in recent years, 80% of Americans don’t know concussions are treatable, or the proper steps to follow after an injury is sustained.
In years past, rest, minimal exposure to light and sound, and limited physical exertion were recommended. But, did you know those guidelines were set as a result of a study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in 1968?
Today, the guidelines, based off a April 2017 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, are totally different:
- No bed rest or prolonged rest – return to gradual and progressive activity are encouraged.
- Reading, texting, and screen time are allowed.
- Return to school and cognitive challenges is encouraged.
- ImPACT Testing is not predictive of return to sport or normal activity.