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Concussions are gaining more awareness as we start to learn more about how to recognize them following injury. Most people may not realize that concussions are a serious brain injury and are a traumatic brain injury. Concussions may be sustained due to a blow to the head or even from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth— causing the brain to bounce around or twist within the skull.1 Even the most "mild" of concussions are important to recognize and have evaluation by the appropriate medical professional. One population who is prone to concussions is our adolescent population, particularly those who participate in competitive athletics. As we learn more about concussions, we are finding that many different body systems can be challenged. Some of the common symptoms are difficulties with concentration, dizziness, balance problems, headaches, changes to vision, fatigue, sensitivities to light and noise and neck and upper back pain-- most of which can be treated in physical therapy. After proper medical evaluation and a diagnosis of a concussion, the management of young athletes who have sustained a concussion is just as important to ensure a safe return to sport. Repeated concussions or multiple concussions prior to the initial concussion healing can lead to a longer healing time, increase the likelihood of permanent injury or even become fatal.2,3 For more information on adolescent concussions please follow the link below.1 If you feel that you or someone you know has sustained a concussion and want to know if physical therapy can help your symptoms please contact Atlas Physical Therapy.

Institute of Medicine (US). Is soccer bad for children’s heads? Summary of the IOM Workshop on Neuropsychological Consequences of Head Impact in Youth Soccer. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2002.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sports-related recurrent brain injuries-United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1997; 46(10):224-227.