A concussion is a type of brain injury often caused by a blow to the head. A concussion can also be caused by a rapid back and forth movement of the brain. In this case, damage to brain cells may occur without any visible external damage to the head.
Signs that a person has experienced a concussion include being unable to recall events before or after an incident. A person may appear stunned or dazed and move clumsily or answers questions slowly. They may show changes in mood or behaviour and easily forget instructions. Concussion symptoms include headaches or pressure in the head, nausea or vomiting, problems with balance, feeling sluggish or bothered by noises or light. Signs and symptoms usually appear shortly after injury. However, they may not appear for hours or days in some cases. Continue to monitor for signs and symptoms days after a head injury.
Most people recover well within a couple of weeks after a minor concussion. But in some cases, symptoms can last for months or even years. The longer the symptoms last, the more challenging it can be to get back to your daily roles and responsibilities. Occupational therapists (OTs) can help you get back to being your usual self. OTs can help by:
providing education to clients and their families about concussions impact on daily functioning
teach energy conservation strategies to prevent fatigue
modify the environment and provide education to promote good sleep hygiene
collaborate on return to work plans with clients and their employers
offer psychosocial and mental health support
interventions to improve functional skills
For people who are suspected of having a concussion, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Initial assessment and intervention can help support and improve recovery and prevent long-term functional complications.
Reference: Occupational Therapy and Concussion Management. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. https://caot.ca/document/6994/CAOTBC_OTConcussionManagment_Final.pdf