Symptoms of Concussion
By Jason Cazares, LAT, ATC, Athletic Trainer

High school football season is back. While football is fun for athletes and fans, it’s considered a “collision sport” that comes with a high risk of injuries – in particular, concussions. This is a hot topic in the world of athletics and the NFL.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a concussion is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works.

Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a ‘dinggetting your bell rung’ or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

All concussions are not created equal. Multiple factors determine the severity, duration, and symptoms one may experience with concussion. These factors include age, previous medical history, current mental health status, and mechanism of injury. The severity, or “grade” of a concussion, is based on*:

  • Grade 1 (mild): Transient confusion; no Loss of Consciousness (LOC); symptoms and mental status abnormalities resolve within 15 minutes
  • Grade 2 (moderate): Transient confusion; no LOC; symptoms and mental status abnormalities resolve after15 minutes
  • Grade 3 (severe): Any LOC

Symptoms of a significant head injury include:

  • Headache
  • Dazed and stunned behavior
  • Confusion about assignments
  • Moving clumsily
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Memory loss before and/or after injury
  • Responding slowly
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Uneven pupils
  • Loss of Consciousness (even if brief)

If any of these signs are present, the athlete should be removed from participation and evaluated by a qualified medical professional before returning to activity.

CHI St. Luke’s Health-The Woodlands Hospital Performance Medicine offers ImPACT testing, which is used to evaluate the severity of a concussion. Call 936-266-3130 to schedule an appointment. 

*cdc.gov/concussion