Concussions probably happen more often than you think. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reports that 5 of 10 concussions go unreported or undetected. Odds are you or somebody you know has experienced one.
Doctor Daniel Constance, a primary care sports medicine and internal medicine specialist at CCMH, said concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury that typically happens after someone is hit in the head, or the head hits the ground.
“Or even enough force to the body where the head whips back and forwards in the brain,” he said. “Since it floats on a bed of water, it hits the side of the skull. It causes confusion, lightheadedness, headache. There’s a total of 22 symptoms that we look at when we’re looking at a concussion.”
UPMC said between 1.7 and 3 million sports – and recreation-related concussions happen every year, and around 300,000 are football-related. That’s why Dr. Constance spends his Thursday or Friday nights on the sidelines at Eisenhower High School’s football games.
“They are long nights,” he said. “Some nights are busier than others.”
But, people don’t just get them from playing football or sports.
“We see plenty in car accidents, falls at home, industrial accidents,” Dr. Constance said. “Anything that makes contact with that head and jostles the body around can cause a concussion.”
Dr. Constance said taking it easy, and giving your brain time to heal is important.
“If you’re still having symptoms of a concussion, you’re more likely to get another concussion,” he said. “It’s more likely to be severe, and it can even be catastrophic at times.”
So, that’s why he said it’s important to give the brain time to heal. Dr. Constance said sometimes people have to take a break from work or school or have reduced responsibilities. He said staying home isn’t enough. He said people need to make sure they’re staying off their phones and not playing video games during that time.