Post Concussive Syndrome

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By Dr. Sender Deutsch
Published on September 22, 2014

Post Concussive Syndrome is a condition that occurs after a concussion in which there is trauma to the brain.   Symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even up to a year later. This syndrome has become more prevalent in our society as a result of individual athletes becoming bigger, stronger and faster.

What Causes a Concussion?

A concussion can occur when there is an impact or a whiplash type injury to the brain. The symptoms affect ones thinking, physical movement, emotions and sleeping patterns.  It is very important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion in order to prevent further brain injury and complications: such as post-concussive syndrome. Some of the most common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are headaches, dizziness and a “foggy” feeling in the head. Many patients with this disorder find it difficult to concentrate and focus. Sometimes, it may take up to a few days for the symptoms to appear.

It is important to note and remember that a concussion can still occur even if you didn’t hit your head directly.

What Should You Do After Suffering From A Concussion?

If you think you may have had a concussion, it is imperative that you immediately remove yourself from whatever activity you are playing in order to prevent further injury to your brain. The brain is like any other tissue in the body. Swelling occurs and if you keep playing, the damage will get worse. Think of a concussion like a sprained ankle.  You wouldn’t want to keep running on an ankle that was hot, swollen, red and inflamed with severe pain upon walking.  The same is true with your brain; even though you cannot always see or feel the damage, trauma has occurred, and therefore it is very important to follow a structured and disciplined recovery protocol.

Concussion Symptoms

You may have a concussion if you are experiencing any one or more of the following symptoms: neck pain, headache, nausea, dizziness, un-balanced, difficulty recalling pertinent information such as date, age, location, etc. Having a concussion is a medical emergency and you should go straight to the hospital if you become unresponsive, have a severe headache, repeated vomiting, slurred speech, difficulty maintaining eye contact and any numbness or tingling into your arms or legs.

If you have experienced a concussion it is very important to take it easy, eliminate all electronic stimulation to your brain (avoid computer work, surfing the web or on your phone, watching television, etc.), and excessive stimulation such as reading and writing.  Take a few days off school or work to allow your brain to relax and recover.  Monitor symptoms and keep a diary to track your progress. If you find your symptoms are worsening, seek the care of a medical professional.  Fatigue is a very common symptom of concussions and can be a direct result of not eliminating all use of electronic devices.  Rest, means totally shutting down the brain and meditating essentially in a dark room. This might seem quite excessive, but it is necessary for a full recovery.