A concussion is, unfortunately, a common injury if you play sports. Sports medicine physician, Jeffrey Lai, MD, has helped hundreds of athletes return to play safely. Concussion guidelines and treatment paradigms are constantly changing, with different rules for different sports at different levels of play. From football to cheer, from Pop Warner to NCAA, Dr. Lai offers a comprehensive examination to assess your neurologic function, balance,, coordination, and behavior. Dr. Lai utilizes ImPACT® for computerized neuropsychological testing. Call Jeffrey Lai, MD today to schedule a consultation at his office in Torrance, California, or book an appointment using the online form.
A sports concussion is a transient injury to your brain that takes place when playing sports, working out, or training. In most cases, sports concussions happen when you fall or receive a direct blow to the head. No two concussions are alike, and treatment guidelines will vary depending on your age and level of play.
You might not realize you have a concussion right away, as it can take time for the symptoms to show up. The most common symptoms of a sports concussion are:
You might also have amnesia, meaning you can’t remember receiving a blow to the head.
People around you might notice that your speech seems slurred or you look dazed. You might not respond to questions right away, and you might seem disoriented. You can lose consciousness when you sustain a concussion, which can happen briefly without you realizing it.
In the weeks following a sports concussion, the after-effects could cause continuing problems with memory and concentration, personality changes, irritability, depression, and problems sleeping. You might also find your sense of taste and smell aren’t the same, and you’re sensitive to bright light or loud noises.
Dr. Lai is a board-certified sports medicine physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating sports concussions. He uses a multimodal comprehensive examination which includes a neurological exam, an assessment of balance & coordination, a cognitive assessment, a vestibular assessment, and computerized testing if needed using the ImPACT® system.
Most sports concussions heal with rest. Resting your brain isn't like resting an arm or a leg, so as well as taking it easy physically, you also need to ease off mentally. That means time off or shorter days at work or school, and less time spent looking at screens.
You must also avoid playing sports until your concussion is fully healed. Receiving another blow to your head when you have a concussion could cause more serious injuries or brain swelling. Most importantly, you should have someone around to keep an eye on you and make sure your symptoms aren’t getting worse.
In most cases, you don’t need to go to the hospital or the emergency room for a sports concussion. However, more serious conditions that could mimic a sports concussion such as a skull fracture or a brain bleed would warrant assessment in the hospital setting.
Most people who get a sports concussion recover fully with no lasting effects. Where your brain is concerned, you should never take any chances. If you’re in the Torrance or Palos Verdes area, and you’ve hit your head playing sports, consult an expert. Call Jeffrey Lai, MD today or book an appointment online.