The main concern when you or someone you know endures a concussion is what will it effect and will their brain function be different from before the concussion? Symptoms and recovery vary for everyone when a concussion occurs. Doing a baseline concussion test allows for pre and post-injury comparisons. The baseline test provides a safer and accurate medical clearance to return to play after the injury.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow, jolt or bump to the head. A hit to the body that causes the head/brain to move back and forth too rapidly can cause a concussion too. This causes a chemical imbalance within brain cells, decreased blood flow and temporary deficits within the brain. A concussion can be the result of a car crash, fall, or most commonly a sports injury. Most concussion symptoms arise within the first 24-48 hours. Individuals who endure a concussion should not be left alone. The individual should go to the hospital if they experience signs of:
- Headache worsening
- Slurred speech
- Unable to balance and keep steady while standing
- Any weakness/numbing in arms and legs
- Seizures (This includes limbs jerking uncontrollably)
- Confusion, irritability, or drowsiness
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
Following a diagnosed concussion, the person should immediately be on complete rest in order to properly recover. Studies show that any mental or physical activity in the days following a concussion can delay the recovery process.
What Is A Baseline Concussion Test?
A medical professional uses a test called a baseline concussion test to evaluate an individuals balance and brain function. This includes testing memory skills, balance, ability to concentrate and pay attention, range of motion, how quick their thinking is and how they solve problems. A baseline concussion test will also check for any existing concussion symptoms. Doing a baseline concussion test will better educate athletes on when to safely return back to play as well as when drivers can return back to driving after a concussion from a car accident occurs. Those who play contact sports such as football, soccer, rugby, etc can benefit from doing a baseline test done in case a concussion occurs during play. The athlete should do the baseline concussion test ideally before the first practice their season. Then, if a concussion does occur, a medical professional would do the test again post-injury to compare their brain function before and after the concussion.
Benefits of a Baseline Concussion Test
Safer Return To Play Decision
There is also no brain scan or X-ray that can determine whether or not someone has a concussion, and MRI or CT scans are unable to spot a concussion as well. This is why a baseline testing is crucial. The baseline test is the only test that can be done to determine when it is safe to return to sports. Your doctor will compare the results of the post-injury test to your baseline test, and will personalise the care to fit the individuals concussion as every concussion is different. Not doing a a baseline concussion test could risk you returning to play before your brain has fully healed.
Easier to Notice Deficits
It is much easier to notice subtle as well as obvious deficits when you have already been assessed before your concussion occurred. Noticing small deficits such as headaches, dizziness, and confusion could indicate that you are not fully recovered yet. If these symptoms were not present during the baseline test, it is most likely being caused by the concussion. Doctors are not able to see the energy levels in your brain that are affected by a concussion. However a baseline concussion test and post-injury test will be what best determines energy levels in the brain. Some concussions do not display any negative symptoms, and some display almost every known symptom of a concussion. Doctor’s will alter every treatment plan for concussions as every individuals concussion and healing process is different.
Dr. Irma is now offering Baseline Concussion Testing at Kinnect Studio. Call us at (905) 551-2456 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your test today!