Concussion Symptoms and Prevention | Our Team | Innovative Research | More Information
Competitive sports as well as many activities of daily living put people of all ages at risk for falls and collisions that could lead to mild head injuries or, as they are commonly called, concussions. Frequently occurring without loss of consciousness or being classically “knocked out,” most concussion treatments consist of rest and careful observation and do not result in any long-term negative impact. For some individuals, however, concussion symptoms may persist and require additional medical intervention from experts in concussion diagnosis and treatment.
Although protective headwear such as helmets and other athletic gear can be helpful with concussion prevention, the physical demands of sports and recreational activities make athletes and “weekend warriors” susceptible to concussion. The NorthShore Sports Concussion Program benefits from the leadership of nationally-recognized experts in the area of head injury and sports medicine.
Concussion Symptoms and Prevention
The majority of people who suffer a concussion recover fully with no need for medical treatment. However, the risk for long-term neurological problems dictates careful scrutiny of any head injuries.
Common concussion symptoms may include:
- Balance disturbances
- Memory loss or confusion
- Difficulty concentrating
However, these concussion symptoms are often very subtle, and may not be obvious immediately after the head injury is sustained making diagnosis more difficult. In most cases, athletes who sustain a concussion are not knocked out; they remain awake and continue talking normally.
Concussions can also occur without a direct hit to the head, and may be the result of a strong whiplash action, moving the brain inside the head.
Parents are advised to watch children in both practice and game situations for any particularly hard hits or collisions with another athlete, or the ground. It is critically important to properly diagnose a concussion and ensure that athletes do not return to their sport or other vigorous activity too quickly as they may be at greater risk of a second concussion, which can result in worsening symptoms and more severe damage to the brain.
The most vulnerable period after a concussion is typically the first few days up, and can last up to two weeks. Multiple concussions, particularly those when the brain has not had adequate time to heal from an earlier concussion can lead to long term effects.
If you suspect a concussion or are experiencing any concussion symptoms, you should contact a physician for an examination.
NorthShore has a multidisciplinary team of specialists to provide a multipronged approach to the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. We combine the expertise of our highly trained neurologists, neurosurgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, sports medicine physicians and neuropsychologists to offer a full spectrum of assessment and concussion treatment strategies.
When you contact the NorthShore Sports Concussion Program, we will connect you to the right specialist with the soonest possible appointment time. Our highly qualified clinicians are experienced and attuned to detecting the less perceptible symptoms of head injuries, and utilize best-practice examination and concussion treatment pathways.
Led by renowned neurosurgeon, Julian E. Bailes, MD and neurologist, Felise S. Zollman, MD, the Program works in seamless communication with primary care physicians and other specialists through NorthShore’s advanced Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system.
This Program features experts from the following specialties:
Physical Medicine and Rehab
NorthShore is proud to be a ThinkFirst chapter, promoting injury & concussion prevention among youth and teens through outreach and community education. Dr. Bailes and NorthShore colleagues are active in promoting improved safety standards to lessen the risk of concussions.
Our team is committed to advancing research that leads to improvements in patient care. Our physicians are or have been involved in studies related to:
- Sophisticated brain imaging to identify those at high risk for neurological complications sustained from concussions
- Identifying genetic factors for those at higher risk of developing long-term problems from multiple concussions
- New head and neck gear to limit the severity and prevent concussions
- The use of acupuncture as complementary concussion treatment
- Supplements and other preventive medications for those at high-risk of concussions
For More Information
Please call 877.570.7020 for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our head injury specialists or submit an online intake form.