Increased competitiveness in sports has led to increased physicality and a greater incidence of injury. According to a recent study conducted in Australia in 2013, the frequency of hospitalization following concussion in sport rose by more than 60% over a nine year period.
At a recent international conference on concussion minimum criteria for concussion were proposed to avoid any grey areas in the diagnosis. Concussion is diagnosed if loss of consciousness, a convulsion and balance difficulty are seen after an impact.
Behavioral Symptoms of Concussion:
Listed below are common behavioral characteristics of concussion. Should an athlete exhibit one or more of these symptoms, they require an immediate concussion assessment by a qualified medical doctor:
- Unconscious or unresponsive
- Muscle rigidity / tonic posturing = upper limb hugging movement
- Loss of body tone / flaccidity = “Rag Doll Effect”
- Loss of memory
- Poor balance
- Holding of the head
- Slow in getting up
- Blank stare/glassy eyes
- Facial or scalp injury
- Slowness in answering questions
- Emotional or tearful
- Poor playing performance
- Reports concussion symptoms
- Reports of unusual behavior
- Post traumatic amnesia (loss of memory of time after the head injury event)
Remember: you do not need to lose consciousness or be knocked out to get concussion. Only 10% of concussed players are knocked out.
Cognitive & Physical Concussion Symptoms
- One or more of these cognitive and/or physical effects can frequently be reported by athletes who have concussion. Some of these symptoms can develop over time and will not be present directly after concussion.
- Headache or pressure in the head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Sensitivity to bright light & loud noise
- Feeling slow or foggy
- Feelings of sadness, frustration or irritability
- Poor concentration/attention
- Memory Difficulty
- Confused and/or disorientated
- Inappropriately emotional
- Sleep Difficulty
- Easily exhausted
- Reduced motivation
Because symptoms can evolve or appear as time passes, serial assessments must be performed over time, and other conditions that can mimic concussion should be ruled out.
If you want to diagnose concussion early, use one of The Sports Concussion Programme’s simple, effective diagnostic tests now.