Stanley Sczecienski, DO, Family and Sports Medicine at Garden City Hospital speaks on the symptoms, examination, and treatment of concussions. If you or a loved one have experienced any of the symptoms described, please call 734-261-3778 to schedule an appointment. For all emergency situations, please call 911 immediately.

While the football and fall sports season is coming to an end, there is still a great chance of experiencing a concussion through the winter, spring and summer seasons. Both through sports, and sometimes even while doing everyday activities. The question becomes, what is a concussion and how do you treat it?

What is a concussion? “A concussion essentially is a trauma to the brain. You don’t have to be knocked-out to do that, but instead, it’s just that the brain gets rattled around inside your skull and it creates some damage to the brain.”

What are the symptoms? “A concussion can mean having many different types of symptoms. Everything from headaches, memory loss and even personality and mood changes. It may not be noticeable to the person who has a concussion, but a family member may say that they’re acting a little bit different. Once you’ve had a concussion, you have to rule out any type of trauma. It may be a brain bleed, or things of that nature, a trip to the ER may be necessary.”

How will I be examined? Upon coming to the office, you will receive a full examination. The examination consists of a thorough history of what happened at the time of the concussion, what happened after the concussion, any symptoms, as well as how you are feeling right now and then, symptoms may change and evolve. Once we review the complete history, we do a thorough examination of the head and neck area, including all of the muscles. We also look at testing called SCAT (Sports Concussion Assessment Tool) testing, which essentially looks at things such as balance, memory, and allows us to objectify or put a number to what the deficit you’re having is.

What is the treatment? “The treatment protocol is going to vary from person to person. Those protocols involve resting, and not letting the brain be stimulated again. If you had a sprained ankle, you wouldn’t walk on it to get better, and the brain works the same way. The treatment protocol is not that difficult but can affect many things, especially when we’re talking about student-athletes.

You don’t have to be at school, or have to play a sport to have an athletic injury. You can have a concussion from a fall or trip at home. For this reason, a concussion is not something that you just want to not worry about. If properly treated, it can help you get better faster or have any long-term problems, in which we call deficits.

If you have the suspicion that you’re having a concussion or had one, please call 734-261-3778, let us do an evaluation and find out what is the best treatment for you to get you better. Read more from Dr. Stan about pain management.