What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.

Red Flags:

For the first 24 – 48 hours, the following problems could arise.

The athlete should not be left alone and must go to a hospital at once if they:

  • Have a headache that gets worse
  • Are very drowsy or can’t be awakened
  • Can’t recognize people or places
  • Have repeated vomiting
  • Behave unusually or seem confused; are very irritable
  • Have seizures (arms and legs jerk uncontrollably)
  • Have weak or numb arms or legs
  • Are unsteady on their feet
  • Have slurred speech
  • Patient is repeating themselves

Remember, it is better to be safe. Consult your doctor or go directly to the nearest Emergency Department after a suspected concussion.

How Athletic Therapy Can Help?

Certified Athletic Therapists are highly trained professionals, who are specialized in the assessment and treatment of sports injuries, ie. concussions and can help ensure a safe and rapid return to play, work and/or school. We can help decrease general MTBI signs and symptoms, including physical, cognitive, emotional and autonomic (sleep and exercise).


  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Balance problems
  • Dizziness
  • Visual problems
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty reading/ doing close work
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Numbness/tingling


  • Feeling mentally foggy
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering


  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • More emotional
  • Nervousness


  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Wanting to nap


Resources available for download:

Concussion Handbook For Parents and Children Part 1  and Concussion Handbook Part 2

Sleep Hygiene Recommendations

Scientific article “Neurometabolic Cascade of Concussion”

Concussion Recognition Tool


Centre for Disease Control Website

Anne Hartley Agency – MTBI handbook, 2015

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre Website

Journal of Athletic Training, 2001. Neurometabolic Cascade of Concussion

British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015.


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