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Quiz: Do I Have a Concussion?

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A young girl on a bicycle fell to the ground, sitting and holding her head with both hands.

Sports, accidents, and falls can affect almost everyone at any time. And it’s terrifying when you don’t know whether you have a concussion. 

Many people are overwhelmed with fear of concussion symptoms and may not know how to tell if they have a concussion. The good news is: You don’t need a doctor’s referral to visit a concussion centre for concussion treatment and management. 

It’s hard to figure out if you have a concussion without knowing the symptoms. A quick concussion quiz based on symptoms can guide you in answering that question. 

This article is not a tool for self-diagnosis but a helping hand for gathering information when you seek medical attention. Please also see a medical professional if you believe you’ve sustained a concussion.

Concussion Quiz

A lady doctor in a white lab coat is standing in front of a young girl wearing an athlete uniform that sitting face to face. The doctor's index finger pointing upward in front of the patient seems like assessing the patient eye responsiveness.

Please check off any symptoms you are experiencing below. They’re split into 4 categories:

  1. Physical or Somatic Symptoms
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  1. Emotional Symptoms
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Moody or sad
  • Depression
  • Personality changes
  1. Cognitive or Thinking & Remembering Symptoms
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Short or long-term memory problems
  • Loss of focus
  • Difficulty multitasking
  • Difficulty completing mental tasks
  • Feeling groggy
  1. Sleep Symptoms
  • Irregular sleep patterns, sleeping more or less
  • Trouble falling asleep

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by an acceleration-deceleration force that occurs during a sudden impact, blow or jolt to the body. 

This rapid movement affects brain function by stretching and damaging nerve fibres, leading to chemical changes in the brain and resulting in an energy deficit. Contrary to what many believe, not all concussions involve loss of consciousness. 

Not every injury or blow to the head constitutes a concussion. CT and MRI scans typically rule out bleeding or another brain injury, but a review of your symptoms can help determine if you have a concussion. 

Symptoms of a Concussion

A concussion is different for everyone, and symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the injury. While concussions usually aren’t life-threatening, their effects can cause severe symptoms that require medical attention. 

Here is a checklist of 22 concussion symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Pressure in head
  • Neck Pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling groggy
  • Don’t feel right
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • More emotional
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Nervous or Anxious
  • Trouble falling asleep

Emergency Symptoms

Concussions can also occur along with severe injuries involving the spine, neck, or back. If you experience any of the following symptoms, go to your nearest emergency room:

  • Neck pain with limited movement
  • Weakness or tingling in arms and legs
  • Slurred speech
  • Double vision
  • Severe headache
  • Various conscious states
  • Seizures or convulsion
  • Consistent vomiting
  • A history of multiple concussions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bruising around the eyes or ears
  • Confusion
  • Inability to remember the injury

Concussion Diagnosis

Not all signs and symptoms of a concussion appear immediately, and some may only show after hours or even days.

If you experience any of the above symptoms after an accident or injury, seek medical treatment within 24 to 48 hours. Information about your medical history, symptoms with severity, and physical and neurocognitive tests can help medical professionals determine if you sustained a concussion and what type of concussion. 

Concussion Treatment Options

Concussion treatments are individualized and depend on the severity of your injury. These can include:

  • Exercise to promote cerebral blood flow, Autonomic Regulation, and promote healing 
  • Vision Therapy
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation 
  • Balance and Proprioception Retraining 
  • Manual therapy of the Cervical Spine 
  • Strategies for coping with Psychological Barriers
  • Neuorcognitive Rehabilitation 
  • Anti-inflammatory dietary changes 
  • Progressive Adaptation and Habituation to aggravating stimuli 
  • Education

Our concussion management providers will assess what treatment options are best for you and create a customized treatment plan for you.

Effective Concussion Treatment & Management

Concussion management includes treatment, education, and progress assessments to ensure your return to work, school, and daily activities is as successful as possible. 

If you experience a blow or injury to your head, remember you can benefit from an early diagnosis. Since symptoms don’t always present straight after an injury, it’s handy to take a quick quiz to determine if you need further care.

For peace of mind, book an appointment with Running Shoe Restorative Healthcare for an evaluation and initial assessment if you think you’ve sustained a concussion. 

Written by Shaheeza Haji

Shaheeza Haji graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta in 2009, followed by a Master of Physiotherapy from the University of Western Ontario in 2011. Being a staunch believer in “exercise is medicine” she attained her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist status though the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2013. At the end of that same year, Shaheeza was involved in a major life-altering electrocution incident whereby she sustained a number of injuries which required surgery and years of rehabilitation. One of these injuries was a traumatic brain injury; it is thought that the electrical current exploded within the confined space of her skull, which for lack of better terminology was coined by her medical team as an “electrical concussion.” This lead to her becoming certified in the treatment and management of Concussions in 2018. Also in 2018, Shaheeza began instructing at CDI college, heading up the Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant Diploma Program. Today, Shaheeza combines her love of teaching, her passion of concussion research, and the empathy & experience from her own injury to help those with acute and chronic concussions. Shaheeza also has a drive for entrepreneurship, being the CEO of Running Shoe Inc., directing both Running Shoe Restorative Healthcare and the Calgary Concussion Centre.
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