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Do you really know concussions?

Concussions are currently a hot topic in the media. For example, the NHL and NFL players associations talk about it a lot and we can now watch plenty of documentaries on that topic. Even though people are better equipped and aware of the signs and symptoms of this health problem, there are still some preconceptions. Let's test your knowledge!

Q: You must experience loss of consciousness to sustain a concussion?

Did you know that 90% of cases of concussions will not suffer a loss of consciousness? In addition, there is not necessarily a link between loss of consciousness and the severity of symptoms and post-concussion recovery time. So we should not use the loss of consciousness as the sole diagnostic criterion. The diagnosis must be based on a list of signs and symptoms, of which loss of consciousness is only one element.

Q: An impact to the head is necessary?

It is true that a fall or a direct blow to the head can cause a concussion. However, it is possible to be the victim of a concussion without a direct blow. For example, a whiplash, in which the brain moves in the skull, can cause a concussion even if there is no direct blow to the head.

Q: Children's brains are more vulnerable to concussions than adults?

Recent studies have shown that the developing brain of children and adolescents is more fragile than that of adults. They would be at higher risk of concussion.

Q: Wearing a helmet or mouth guard reduces the risk of concussions?

Studies have failed to demonstrate that this type of protective equipment reduces the risk of concussions. However, they prevent many injuries to the face, jaw and teeth, so there are several advantages to wearing them. On the other hand, we must not believe that protective helmets and mouth guards protect us from concussions.

If you think you have been the victim of a concussion, it is important to consult a health professional quickly to maximize your recovery. And physiotherapy can play a significant role in your recovery.

Author - Karine has been a physiotherapist at Physio Max since 2017. She completed her bachelor's and master's degree in physiotherapy at Université Laval (Québec) in 2016. Her main clinical interest is the treatment of concussions and vestibular disorders. In addition, she enjoys the sports side of the profession, including being the local Midget AAA hockey team's physiotherapist.