JOPLIN, MO-- We've heard a lot about the risks of concussions in football. But it can happen with any blow to the head or body.
"The number one sign is a headache. Other signs include disruptions in behavior, memory, mood. Occasionally with more severe concussions, there can be a loss or alteration of consciousness." But Freeman Dr. James Boyle says regardless of how the concussion happened, it's important to make sure you aren't having any continuing symptoms as you go back to regular activities. "As you resume your normal activities including exercise, you need to make sure you're symptom free that entire time. If you have symptoms, you need to cut back on your activities until those symptoms go away."
The impact to your health can be more severe if you sustain multiple injuries. "Repeated concussions can cause long term problems with memory, behavior changes, changes in level of consciousness or overall injuries to the brain that the body doesn't recover from very well at all." While even just one concussion can be serious for any patient, young people may be a risk for a second incident. "There's also some research in children and adolescents that they may be prone to repeat concussions in a short perod of time because their brain is still developing and those connections between nerve cells are still changing and growing."