Concussion Signs and Symptoms
Dr. Masaru Furukawa: A concussion is an alteration or change in brain function after a direct or indirect blow to the head. An alteration in brain function means a change in emotions or a change in the way you think. Some things that you'll find are poor focus, inability to think straight or correctly, feeling slow in your thoughts. There are also physical findings after a concussion which include being off balance or not being able to coordinate as well as you normally would. Some of the other things are emotional instability that can result from a concussion as well.
Some people, and I see this a lot when I'm on the sidelines, may get the blow to the head but not show symptoms until their body has had a chance to settle down, such as an end of a quarter, or halftime or even at the end of the game. Occasionally, symptoms don't occur right after the head injury. Sometimes, there's a loss of consciousness, but most concussions occur without loss of consciousness, and that's an important point for most people.
Concussions tend to recur more frequently if they're not fully recovered from the current concussion. Every subsequent concussion that an athlete has tends to take longer to recover from, and tends to be more severe. Every concussion is individualized, so some people recover very quickly, within days, and some take several weeks to months. Certainly, the people who take months, it's rare, but it is known to happen.
Probably, the most important thing is that the athlete step forward when they are having symptoms, because a lot of times the coaches, the doctors on the sidelines or parents cannot tell. When athletes come to us, we can identify concussions, manage them appropriately and on the short term, we can get them back on the field quicker, rather than athletes going back, continuing to suffer from their concussion. Our goal is to get the athletes back on the field as soon as we can, and I think we can do that better when we identify concussions sooner and people come in to see us sooner.
River Valley Clinic
436 Sunrise Dr
Spring Green, WI 53588