Concussion Awareness Day

Every September we take one day to promote more awareness of the identification and treatment of concussions as they are becoming much more well understood as we continue to do more research.

The CDC explains a concussion as: A type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

These injuries can happen during sports, physical activity, car accidents, falls, or other traumatic accidents. Unfortunately, concussions can affect patients of all ages and people of all activity levels from someone who is not very active to professional athletes.

As more and more research is coming out about concussions, we are developing a better understanding of the mechanism of the injury, the signs and symptoms to look out for, the most beneficial treatment options, and effective prevention strategies to avoid further concussions in the future.

Signs to look out for with a concussion:

  • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.
  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Forgets an instruction, is confused about an assignment or position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent.
  • Moves clumsily.
  • Answers questions slowly.
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly).
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.

Common symptoms after a concussion:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.


A concussion is treated by incorporating a step-wise recovery plan that works its way up to getting you back to performing your daily activities or back to your activity or sport of choice. These recovery plans usually first eliminate physical activity and slowly incorporate to back in as long as no new symptoms start to develop such as fatigue and headache. For concussions that require longer recovery time, physicians work with physical therapists to incorporate vestibular therapy to help re-train the brain and get you back to your regular levels of activity.

General Concussion Safety Tips and Prevention:

  • Always wear a helmet when using a bicycle, skateboard, or rollerblades
  • For young children, make sure a car booster seat is used at the appropriate ages, stair gates are present at the top and bottom of the stairs to help prevent falls, and make sure when young children are playing on a playground to play on soft surfaces such as mulch or sand rather than grass or dirt.
  • If you are concerned that you have received a concussion, we always recommend that you are evaluated by a physician in order to be properly diagnosed and make sure you received the proper care and treatment. Concussion reporting and awareness of head trauma in general causing a concussion is leading towards a better diagnosis.

If you have recently been diagnosed with a concussion or have any concerns about recovery from a recent concussion, please to do not hesitate to book an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists at HealthyU Clinics. We can help evaluate and determine what kind of recovery plan works best for you.

More information about concussion awareness is available from the CDC Heads Up website.

What Is a Concussion? | HEADS UP | CDC Injury Center

By: Robert Claflin, DO CAQSM
Family Medicine and Sports Medicine