Comprehensive Concussion Management

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From taking a hard hit during a game or practice to receiving an injury during a car accident, many common activities put us at risk for concussions. But no matter how you hit your head, a concussion can have serious consequences for both physical and mental health if not treated properly – and as soon as possible. Learn more about what to do after a concussion and how comprehensive concussion management services from Vanguard Medical Group can help ensure a speedy recovery.

What Is a Concussion?

Also called mild traumatic brain injuries, concussions are caused by blunt force to the head or upper body due to collisions with people and objects or sudden, jolting motions. When these occur, the brain shakes and bounces into contact the skull, resulting in trauma to this sensitive and complex organ. Concussions are most common in sports settings and other recreational activities, and nearly three million are reported each year.

However, concussions can happen at any time and to any person, which is why it’s so important to understand the symptoms. These signs present instantly in some cases, but may only appear days later in others. They include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Seizure
  • Confusion
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings

If you or a loved one exhibits any of these symptoms after a forceful impact to the head, reach out to our sports medicine physician in Verona or your nearest Vanguard Medical Group location immediately. Concussions can alter how the brain functions and can have detrimental long-term impacts on one’s health. Don’t wait to see if symptoms subside – if trauma has occurred, it requires immediate attention.

Diagnosing a Concussion

Our team of specialists at Vanguard Medical Group regularly examines and diagnoses patients with concussions using only the latest advancements in medicine and the best technology available. The examination typically begins with a neurological screening that tests the following:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Balance
  • Reflexes
  • Coordination
  • Strength
  • Sensation
  • Memory
  • Concentration

In rare cases it may be necessary to rule out other more severe brain injuries. If the physician is concerned, he/she may order a CT scan of the head or other advanced imaging as deemed appropriate.

Treatment and Management

While pain relievers, like acetaminophen, can reduce the symptoms associated with concussion headaches, the only true way to heal is through rest. This means more than avoiding exercising and participating in sports, as a concussion also affects how the brain — not just the body — functions. Limiting the use of electronics and any activities that require thinking and concentration is recommended for a designated period of time, as these day-to-day tasks can trigger and worsen concussion symptoms. Patients should consult a physician before taking Aleve, Advil, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc. — these pain relievers may increase the risk of bleeding within the brain. Consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter (OTC) medications or using treatments other than those he/she prescribes.

Collaborative Concussion Care

If you’re unsure of what to do after a concussion, asking a sports medicine physician  is one of the best decisions you can make. As New Jersey sports medicine leaders, we collaborate as necessary with specialists, including neuropsychologists and vestibular therapists, to create the best treatment plan for each patient. All care plans adhere to return-to-play protocols and utilize the latest neurocognitive assessment tools, so patients can return to their daily activities with confidence once cleared by their doctors.

Dr. Yucht’s main location is in the Grove Avenue, Verona, office. He also is available at the Lincoln Park location. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Yucht at the Vanguard Medical Group Grove Avenue, Verona, location today.