New Tip Sheet from Medicine in Motion Explains the Signs, Dangers and Treatments for Concussions

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With the fall sports season in full swing, injuries are inevitable. The Austin sports medicine team at Medicine in Motion has shared a guide for concussions for parents, coaches and athletes to review when they suspect a concussion has occurred.

Austin sports medicine

Austin sports medicine

Concussions are commonplace among high school athletes, affecting about 63,000 students every year.

Most injuries sustained on the sports field have obvious tell-tale signs such as pain, bleeding, swelling or discoloration. The nature of a concussion, however, can make it extremely challenging to recognize at first glance – the physical evidence is hidden beneath the injured person’s skull, after all. Concussions are commonplace among high school athletes, affecting about 63,000 students every year.

Although many injured athletes are eager to get back into the game, a person suspected of having a concussion should immediately be removed or remove themselves from a game or any activity or sport. An increase in heart rate can worsen symptoms, but perhaps more importantly, a quick return to activity significantly increases the injured person’s risk of an even more serious brain injury. A doctor should always be consulted before an athlete returns to a sport or activity.

“Concussions are serious business, but we don’t always know how severe the damage is immediately after the injury occurs,” said Dr. Martha Pyron, Austin sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion. “If you or your child has taken a blow to the head, you might be wondering if a concussion has developed. I recommend referring to our symptoms checklist and heading to a doctor if you have even the slightest suspicion that it is a concussion. The healing process may take time, but a quick response will be your athlete’s best bet for a solid recovery.”

Concussion facts and tips:

1.    What is a concussion? It is the mildest form of brain injury, but can still lead to death and/or permanent brain damage if not treated properly.

2.    How does a concussion occur? Usually, it is from a blow to the head, but a person can get a concussion by just abruptly stopping, even if he or she does not hit their head.

3.    What are the consequences of a concussion? Usually, if treated properly, concussions resolve without any long term consequences. But if not treated properly, and sports are attempted while still recovering from a concussion, the concussion can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

4.    What are symptoms of a concussion? Headache is the most common symptom of concussion, but it is not always present. Nausea, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, confusion, difficulty with concentration, behavioral changes, slurred speech, dizziness, blurry vision, sleep disturbance, and emotional changes can all occur.

5.    How is a concussion treated? The brain must rest. At first this may mean rest from ALL activity including talking on the phone, watching TV, or even reading. Eventually, the concussion resolves and the athlete returns to all activity without difficulty.

6.    How does a person know when their concussion has resolved? It is difficult to tell sometimes. But generally, three things need to be in place: 1. All symptoms have resolved; 2. The physician’s physical exam of the concussed person is normal; and 3. The person is able to think clearly and use their brain at the same level as prior to the injury.

7.    How does a person know if they are able to use their brain the same as before? There are computerized tests which can measure concentration, memory and reaction times. If this test is taken before the head injury as a baseline, it can be used as a measure of when the test scores return to normal after the injury.

8.    Where should a person go if they think they have a concussion? If a person is injured and their symptoms are worsening despite rest, they should go to the ER. If they have symptoms which occur that they think are related to a concussion, they should seek medical care from a physician who has experience with concussions and has the ability to test concentration and memory skills. Otherwise, it may be difficult to tell when the concussion has been resolved. Medicine in Motion has the capability to do a full evaluation.

Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The staff at MIM believes active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office's goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at

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Daniel Harvell
since: 11/2010
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