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Conditions, Injuires, Recovery, Health, Tips / 2 October 2019

The Importance of Concussion Awareness

Experiencing brain trauma, like a concussion, can abruptly and significantly alter the life of an individual. It can also result in unbearable side effects, including dizziness, memory loss and headaches, which can further disrupt their daily routine. 

In this article, we will discuss the importance of concussion awareness to help people understand the severity of brain trauma, how to identify the symptoms, ways to prevent it, as well as tips to recover successfully after experiencing a concussion. 

Athlete Experiencing Concussion Symptoms

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is an injury of the brain caused by a jolt to the body or head, which results in a back and forth brain movement inside the skull cavity. The twisting or bouncing action can damage the tissues and create changes in the chemistry of the brain.

Concussions can be caused by slip-and-fall accidents or by auto accidents, but concussions mostly occur in sports-related injuries. 

Typically, concussions are called a mild brain injury. However, this certainly doesn’t mean there won’t be any grave consequences. New studies on concussions, and how they affect the mental functioning of an individual later in life, demonstrate the significance of preventing head injuries. 

The ideal way of preventing and recovering from a concussion is educating yourself on what a concussion is so you can take the right measures to stay safe. 

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Below are the main symptoms of a concussion: 

  • Slowed stimuli response
  • Balance issues
  • Noise or light sensitivity
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Headache
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Sluggishness or drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Memory troubles

These symptoms might develop instantly after an accident, or a few hours to months after the injury. 

When you are recovering from a concussion, you might still experience some of these symptoms:

  • Mild headaches
  • Concentration issues 
  • Noise or light sensitivity
  • Irritability

It is important to consult your doctor and keep them updated on your symptoms or any other issues that arise to speed up the recovery process. 

Ways to Prevent a Concussion 

Taking precautions to avoid concussions and other head injuries is highly recommended. There is extensive useful information provided by the CDC to spread awareness about head injuries and ways to prevent it. Here are a few prevention tips:

  • Always wear the right helmet and safety gear when playing sports. 
  • Ensure the safety gear is utilized properly (for instance, it must fit properly). 
  • In sports, the coach should share safety techniques with their team and repeat them regularly to make sure all players are aware of them.
  • Strict rules should be implemented against excessive violence in physical activities to avoid such injuries.
  • The right penalties must be given to any player breaking the rules.
  • Head gear must be worn on the field at all times and must only be taken off after play, or during breaks. 
  • All injuries, even minor ones, must be thoroughly examined by a medical professional to prevent any damage.
  • Injuries must be recorded carefully, and appropriate medical treatment must be provided to the affected player, even if the player claims they are feeling fine.
  • Players must only be allowed to resume the sport after receiving the doctor’s approval.

Neglecting to follow the specified measures and precautions can worsen the injury and result in severe consequences. 

Concussion Recovery Tips 

While seeking immediate medical treatment is crucial for treating a concussion, here are a few tips  you can do yourself to expedite the recovery process:

 

  • Give Nature a Chance 

 

Natural remedies are highly useful when it comes to concussion recovery. Here are a few tips you should try:

  • Consuming foods rich in antioxidants: Add leafy green vegetables, blueberries and green tea to your diet. Leafy veggies are also high in calcium and folic acid, making them even more beneficial to the recovery process. 
  • Use turmeric powder: This is one of the most popular superfoods that provides multiple benefits, such as reducing swelling and relieving pain. 
  • Eat more fish: Consume fish oil, and fish like tuna, mackerel and sardines, as they include omega-3 fatty acids that help improve brain functioning. 

 

  • Try Alternative Activities 

 

Patients recovering from a concussion and other head injuries are often discouraged from using electronic devices, watching television, or even reading books all day long, as these activities are tiring for the brain. Therefore, they might get frustrated and bored during the recovery period.

Fortunately, there are alternative activities, like cooking and knitting, you can try. These activities will not only keep you busy, but are also good for your brain’s recovery. These creative outlets need logical troubleshooting and thinking without straining your brain. 

 

  • Exercise Your Brain 

 

Exercising your brain is crucial during the recovery process as mental challenges are known to prevent any possible mental decline. Therefore, opt for some fun brain teasers and activities to give your brain some exercise. 

Brain puzzles help in stimulating the memory without putting your brain through a numerical strain. Tetris can be played for stronger cerebral cortexes, but be sure to limit screen time every day to avoid strain. 

Aside from that, classic card games are also great for brain stimulation. Play games like Uno or Go Fish for a numerical comprehension and memory boost. 

 

  • Practice Self-Care 

 

Taking good care of yourself is what ensures proper healing and recovery after a concussion. Make sure that you get sufficient rest, consume a healthy diet and keep yourself hydrated. You can always change it up by opting for different self-care techniques. 

This can include listening to audio books, giving yourself a facial or a manicure/pedicure, ordering food, hanging out with friends or family, taking a long bath using essential oils and bath salts, or doing other activities that can help relax you. 

If you feel less productive or discouraged, you can try planning out your entire day in the morning. Create a to-do list each day and add simple tasks like ‘brushing teeth’ and ‘cooking dinner.’ Nothing will feel more productive than crossing off items on a to-do list. 

Experiencing and recovering from a concussion can be tough. When you start to feel better, it is best not to jump back into your normal routine immediately. Instead, take it slow by starting off with mild activities. It is ideal to begin working out with beginner exercises for 10 to 15 minutes and gradually increasing the time as you get stronger. 

If you want to start heading to work again, try doing half days for a week before resuming full days of work. Getting your brain back into your normal routine will further improve your cognitive functions and healing process, without causing any strain. 

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