What Do Your Concussion Symptoms Mean to You?

January 21, 2016
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How Concussion Symptoms Affects You | Innovative Health

How Concussion Symptoms Affects You | Innovative Health

Concussions are more than just bumps on the head; they can have significant implications for your health and well-being. Understanding the symptoms of a concussion and their meaning is crucial for proper management and recovery.

Introduction to Concussion Symptoms

Concussions, often referred to as mild traumatic brain injuries, occur when the brain experiences sudden trauma. This can happen due to a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the body. While concussions are common, their symptoms can vary widely from person to person.


Why Do I have the Symptoms I have?

To understand why you experiencing the concussion symptoms you have, you must first understand some of the neurochemical and physiological changes that occur in the brain immediately following a concussion. The normal function of the neurons and immune cells within the brain changes. These changes normally last up to two weeks. The immune cells become inflammatory and release many harmful chemicals. The neuron structure and function are altered. The membrane has receptors which control the amount of calcium coming into the cell.

Following a concussion the amount of calcium entering increases dramatically and this results in damage to the cell. This further increases the inflammatory responses leading to prolonged neuronal dysfunction. There should be a balance of potassium and sodium inside and outside of the cell.

After a concussion, the neurons go into an energy crisis where they do not utilize and create energy appropriately. This leads to an imbalance of potassium and sodium as ATP is used to transfer these electrolytes. The neuron’s resting potential increases and it results in less stimulation needed for it to fire. This results in it firing at a higher rate. This uses more energy and is responsible for many symptoms that people have.

The amount of blood flow to the brain decreases following a concussion. This decreases the amount of blood and oxygen getting to many areas of the brain causing even further neuronal injury. There is blood sugar dysregulation that creates a lot of stress in the brain which leads to impaired ability to recover. All of these things lead to an altered blood-brain barrier. When this is breached, it allows for substances that should not normally get to the brain to enter and cause inflammation.

What are Common Symptoms and How Do they Impact me

Symptoms are the results of changes that occur in the brain following a concussion and pre-existing dysfunction. As stated above there are many things that occur in the brain following a concussion, but alterations in blood sugar, hormones, infections, gut, and thyroid to name a few play a major role in the symptoms you experience and your ability to recover. Symptoms can either be localized to an area of the brain or be the result of global physiological and chemical changes. The most common symptoms that people experience are changes in mood, personality, emotions, memory, focus, attention, academic performance, balance, executive function, and social interactions.

Headaches, sleep difficulties, brain fog, slowed processing, slowed reaction time, head pain, migraines, light, and sound sensitivity. One of the most important symptoms is headaches, especially migraines. These have shown to be predictors of the ability to recover from a concussion or whiplash especially if these were pre-existing.

A study looked at the cognitive function of those post-concussion who had no headache, general headache, or migraine. Those with headache and migraine performed worse than the individuals who had none. The individuals who performed the lowest and did not return to baseline were those with post-concussive migraines.


Lesser-Known Symptoms

In addition to the more obvious symptoms, concussions can also cause sensitivity to light and noise, difficulty concentrating, emotional changes, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms may not be immediately apparent but can significantly impact daily functioning.


Severity of Symptoms

Concussion symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the injury. While some individuals may experience only mild discomfort, others may struggle with debilitating symptoms that affect their ability to perform everyday tasks.


Impact on Daily Life

Concussion symptoms can interfere with various aspects of daily life, including work or school performance, social interactions, and participation in physical activities. It’s essential to recognize the limitations imposed by these symptoms and seek appropriate support.


Seeking Medical Attention

If you experience concussion symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare professional can assess your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options. Diagnostic tests such as imaging scans may be necessary to rule out more severe injuries.


Treatment Options

Treatment for concussions typically involves rest and relaxation to allow the brain to heal. Medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms such as headaches or nausea, while therapy can help address cognitive and emotional issues.


Recovery Process

The recovery process from a concussion can vary depending on the severity of the injury and individual factors. It’s essential to follow medical advice and gradually return to activities while monitoring symptoms closely. Long-term effects are rare but can occur in some cases.


Prevention Strategies

Preventing concussions involves taking precautions during activities that carry a risk of head injury. This includes wearing protective gear during sports and recreational activities, following safety guidelines, and participating in educational programs to raise awareness.


Support Systems

Having a strong support system is crucial during the recovery process. Family and friends can provide emotional support, while healthcare professionals can offer medical guidance and treatment. Support groups and online communities can also connect individuals with shared experiences.


Coping Mechanisms

Coping with concussion symptoms requires patience and self-care. Stress management techniques, lifestyle adjustments, and seeking professional help when needed can all contribute to a smoother recovery process.


Educational Resources

Accessing reliable information about concussions is essential for making informed decisions about treatment and recovery. Online resources, support groups, and educational materials can provide valuable insights into managing concussion symptoms.


Raising Awareness

Raising awareness about concussions is vital for reducing stigma and ensuring proper support for individuals affected by these injuries. Advocacy efforts, sharing personal experiences, and participating in awareness campaigns can all contribute to this goal.



Concussion symptoms can vary widely in their severity and impact on daily life. By understanding these symptoms and seeking appropriate support, individuals can effectively manage their condition and promote recovery.



What are the immediate steps to take after a concussion?

After a concussion, it’s essential to rest and avoid activities that could worsen symptoms. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.


Can concussions lead to long-term complications?

While most concussions resolve without long-term effects, some individuals may experience persistent symptoms or complications such as post-concussion syndrome.


Is it safe to return to sports after a concussion?

It’s essential to follow medical advice and undergo a gradual return-to-play protocol supervised by a healthcare professional to ensure safety.


How can I support a loved one with concussion symptoms?

Offer emotional support, help with daily tasks, and encourage them to seek medical attention if needed. Be patient and understanding during their recovery process.


Are there any alternative therapies for concussion management?

While traditional treatments such as rest and medication are standard, some individuals may find relief from concussion symptoms through complementary therapies such as acupuncture or cognitive rehabilitation.

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