Concussions and Head Injuries A concussion, typically caused by a blow to the head, is a traumatic injury that can temporarily impair normal brain function. Concussions can sometimes result in a loss of consciousness, but they oftentimes do not. In some cases, you can have a concussion and not even realize it. Athletes who play contact sports like football, lacrosse and ice hockey are at increased risk of sustaining a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion or sports-related head injury include: Headaches Dizziness Amnesia or temporary loss of memory Nausea Vomiting Fatigue Slurred speech and/or confusion Difficulty concentrating or responding to questions It’s important to note that symptoms may be delayed at first, for hours or sometimes days, making them hard to detect. Some concussions or head injuries can occur even when you don’t experience a direct hit to the head; colliding with another player on the field, for example, can impact the brain enough to cause a concussion. Treatment Whether or not symptoms are immediately apparent, you should seek medical assistance if you experience an injury that impacts your head or neck. This is true of children and teens, as well—the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you contact your child’s doctor for anything more than a light bump on the head. Only a health care provider can determine the severity of your concussion. If you’ve sustained a grade 1 or grade 2 concussion, you should rest, avoid strenuous activity and monitor symptoms closely. A grade 3 concussion requires immediate observation and treatment. In addition to a physical examination, your physician will ask you questions to test your cognitive function, and will likely test your coordination and reflexes, as well. They may order a CT scan or MRI to determine if bleeding or other injuries are present. Severe concussions often result in hospitalization and further treatment. Once they understand the degree of damage, you doctor will provide specific instructions for recovery. Before your next season begins, visit Inspira to receive an ImPACT® baseline concussion screening. This advanced concussion assessment and management method helps your health care provider establish a snapshot of your healthy brain function, and it is an effective tool in the battle against concussion-induced damage. If you’d like more information about our sports medicine program, or to schedule a consultation, call (856) 641-8000 ext. SPORT or email SportsMedicine@ihn.org. Why Choose Inspira? Advanced Treatment for Athletes of All Skill Levels Athletes come in all shapes, sizes, ages and skill levels, and at Inspira, we’re committed to providing personalized care based on your specific athletic goals. Our team of trained clinical professionals, including a sports orthopedic specialist, certified athletic trainer, physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach, work collaboratively to engineer a treatment plan that works for you—wherever you are in your journey to athletic excellence. Comprehensive Sports Medicine Services Inspira’s sports medicine program focuses on maximizing the athletic performance of both professional and amateur athletes, as well as the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Screening Services for Injury Prevention Screenings can help reduce your risk of injury before the big race, upcoming season or whatever athletic event you’re training for. Inspira’s sports medicine clinicians know exactly how to keep you safe from injury with functional movement screenings and baseline concussion testing. These practices go a long way in preventing injuries, allowing you to perform your best for years to come. Skilled Orthopedic Expertise Our award-winning and state-of-the-art surgical facilities across South Jersey have received national recognition for orthopedic care and are staffed with fellowship-trained surgeons to guide you on your road to recovery.