Concussions are a big concern for athletes of all ages, but they can and do occur in a variety of recreational settings every day. Unfortunately, many concussions go untreated and unreported. In part, this is due to lack of awareness of the potential dangers a mild traumatic head injury can involve. There is also a great deal of misunderstanding about what proper concussion care involves.
Here are 3 myths about concussion care that may lead to serious problems after a traumatic brain injury:
1. It’s best to take a “wait and see” approach to concussion symptoms.
It is true that most concussions are mild, and symptoms often clear up in a few days or at most a few weeks as the brain recovers and heals. But this is not always the case, and waiting longer to see improvement does not increase the odds symptoms will fade. In fact, individuals suffering with post concussion syndrome are likely to feel worse as time passes, not better.
Head injury victims need proper care and support right away if symptoms linger. Left untreated, concussion symptoms can persist indefinitely. A proactive approach to concussion care can help individuals avoid pain, discomfort and in some cases, dramatic disruption to their daily lives. A functional neurologist can provide therapeutic support that leads to successful recovery.
2. The ER didn’t say I had a concussion, so I’m not at risk for future problems.
If you’ve suffered a head injury, but did not meet the criteria used to establish the trauma as a ‘concussion,’ you should still be cautious. Any brain injury can cause changes in the brain over time.
It’s important to remember that concussions, especially mild ones, are essentially silent injuries. They do not show up in CT scans, x-ray, MRIs or blood work. Even if they aren’t labeled concussions, traumatic brain injuries may cause functional neurological symptoms weeks after the injury. Problems with cognitive abilities and motor function can occur, including fatigue, dizziness, and difficulties with concentration. Functional neurologists can evaluate and help restore brain function after an injury regardless of how the injury has been labeled.
3. I’ve had these symptoms for months; there’s nothing that can be done to help me now.
It’s not uncommon for individuals suffering with post concussion syndrome to go weeks, months or even years without proper care. PCS symptoms often look like other health problems, such as depression or chronic fatigue. Unfortunately, as long as the underlying problem remains undetected and unresolved, symptoms are likely to continue and worsen.
Functional neurology provides therapeutic support for brain injury patients that may help at any time. It takes advantage of Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new connections as needed. The care functional neurologists provide is safe, gentle and non-invasive. There are no risks involved in seeking care, and for those who’ve struggled with post concussion syndrome for some time, the restoration of optimum brain function may make a world of difference in quality of life.