Close look on a concussion

A concussion is a minor form of traumatic brain injury brought about by a blow, knock or strike to the head. The abrupt movement forces the brain to bounce around or twist within the skull. This results to the stretching and damage to the brain cells and chemical changes in the brain.

A blow or jolt to the body might also result to a concussion if the impact is significant enough to force the head to jerk forwards, backwards or sideways.

Falls, vehicular accidents and sports injuries are the usual causes of concussions. Take note that any sport that involves contact can result to a concussion.

What are the indications?


The usual indication of a concussion is a headache.

The usual indication of a concussion is a headache. This is considered as a serious symptom if the headache worsens over time which might indicate bleeding in the skull.

Other symptoms that might arise include:

  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Nausea
  • Irritability, sadness or nervousness
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Changes in the sleeping patterns
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Difficulty with comprehending and/or concentrating
  • Depression

What are the danger signs?

  • Seizures
  • Unusual behavior
  • Unable to recognize places or people

Among children, the indications that necessitate emergency treatment include any of the adult symptoms, inconsolable crying and will not eat or nurse.

The symptoms of a concussion generally arise within minutes of the blow or strike to the head. Some of the symptoms might arise several hours after. In some cases, the symptoms might change days later while others develop if the brain is stressed especially during activities such as running or reading.

Management of a concussion

The main treatment for a concussion is adequate rest. Over time, the symptoms will settle as the brain recuperates.

The symptoms generally last around 6-10 days depending on the severity of the injury. Most can recover within a week. If the symptoms last more than a week, a doctor must be consulted.

Some of the general measures in managing a concussion include:

  • Adequate sleep at night and rest during the day
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Avoid sensory and visual stimuli including loud music and video games
  • Try to ease into normal activities
  • Avoid any strenuous physical or mental activities
  • Avoid activities that can lead to another injury such as playground activities, sports or some amusement park rides
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages since these can slow down the recovery and increase the chance for further injury.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a concussion is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to manage this form of head injury, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.