What You Need to Know About the Dangers of Untreated Concussions

What You Need to Know About the Dangers of Untreated Concussions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), concussions are a type of brain injury that can occur after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can range from mild to severe, and can sometimes lead to long-term effects. If you think you or someone you know may have a concussion, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Untreated concussions can lead to serious health problems. Here’s what you need to know about the risks of leaving a concussion untreated.

What is concussion?

Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury that occur commonly after a blow to the head, but can also be caused by a sudden jolt to the body. Concussions result in a disruption in the normal functioning of the brain and most often require immediate medical attention and evaluation. 

Concussion symptoms can vary from person to person, ranging from mild confusion and headaches, to loss of consciousness, drowsiness, balance issues, visual and vestibular dysfunctions, as well as difficulty with concentration and memory problems. 

Concussion can result in both physical and cognitive symptoms which may take days or weeks to fully dissipate. To diagnose a concussion, medical experts conduct comprehensive assessments which may include physical exams, neuropsychological testing and imaging scans. 

Treatment plans vary depending on individual needs but often include adequate rest, modifications of activities such as school work or sports, visual and vestibular exercises, physiotherapy for whiplash associated symptoms and medications for headache relief if needed. 

Concussions remain one of the most serious injuries that can occur in sports but with appropriate assessment and treatment it is possible for individuals to experience full recovery from such injuries. It is important for anyone suspected of having sustained such an injury be evaluated by an expert so that they can receive the necessary care needed for a speedy recovery.  Therefore it is essential to take all concussions seriously as even a mild concussion has the potential for long lasting effects. 

Hence proper diagnosis and interventions from an experienced professional are required when dealing with any bump or blow in order to ensure optimal health outcomes for those affected by brain injuries such as concussions caused due to a blow or jolt given to the head or body.

Concussion Myth courtesy of Momentum Health – Deerfoot (Read the caption)

Symptoms of a concussion include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting

Anytime a person experiences any of the symptoms associated with a concussion, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Common signs and symptoms of concussion include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and impaired balance. Other more subtle symptoms may occur such as changes in sleep patterns such as sleeping longer than usual, being sensitive to noise or light, irritability and feeling anxious or depressed. 

To properly diagnose a concussion requires careful observation and assessment of a person’s symptomology and their response to physical exertion or cognitive testing. Concussion can be serious if not properly assessed and monitored so it is always important to seek medical attention when a person exhibits any one of these common symptoms after an injury occurs. 

It’s vital that the patient has proper rest and follow up with their doctor for further evaluation if necessary. With prompt diagnosis and proper rehabilitative strategies based on clinical evidence, patients suffering from concussion can get back to health quickly with lasting success.  

In essence, concussions can become much worse if not taken seriously from the onset –which underscores why early detection through monitoring concussion symptoms is key for long-term wellbeing and injury prevention.  Furthermore, our understanding of how concussions work continues to evolve over time – giving us even more insight into how best treat them for optimal results over time without factors leading to future complications involving the central nervous system down the line.  Ultimately this makes seeking out medical attention essential for Concussion patients who need further guidance in regards to analyzing their situation fully so they can have access to the right solutions right away.  

Concussion awareness should be promoted so that people understand exactly what it entails so they have access to the proper resources they need when necessary in order to stay ahead of potential threats while ensuring they remain safe during recovery moving forward. If people have a better understanding of the potential dangers of concussions, we can reduce the amount of concussions that have lasting damage in the future, by being aware of the symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.

What happens if a concussion goes untreated?

Research has shown that if left untreated, concussive injuries may lead to more serious problems. People with untreated concussions may experience persistent physical health issues such as poor coordination; cognitive impairments such as trouble processing information; psychological issues like depression; and even seizures. 

Therefore, it is essential for athletes who have suffered any type of head trauma to be immediately assessed by a qualified healthcare professional so necessary measures can be taken to ensure that long-term damage does not occur. 

Concussions can have severe implications if left unattended and should be taken seriously. It is important to remember that while most individuals recover fully from a concussion after proper medical treatment, some may require additional care or even medical intervention to reduce their risk of suffering further complications down the road. 

It is critical to seek immediate medical attention when necessary to avoid further risks.  Anytime someone suspects they may have suffered a concussion they should always seek medical attention immediately. In this way they can take steps towards preventing more serious problems from occurring down the line.

There are many treatments available for concussions, so don't hesitate to seek help

There are numerous treatments available for concussion management. The most important factor is to seek help as soon as possible after an injury occurs. The treatment type will depend on the severity of the concussion; mild concussions often do not require medical interventions and can be managed with careful rest. However, more severe cases may require physical therapy and other therapies aimed at minimizing associated symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and dizziness. Furthermore, medications may be necessary in some cases. Concussion management should include a personalized rehabilitation plan overseen by a physician who has experience managing these types of injuries. 

These plans may incorporate cognitive therapies designed to improve memory retention and overall quality of life for those with TBIs. Concussion management does not end when rehabilitation does; regular follow-ups with experts are also recommended. 

Individuals suffering from concussions should not hesitate to seek help and follow the guidance offered by professionals in order to ensure their full recovery.  This is especially important for younger brains that are still developing since even mild concussions can cause impairment that lingers beyond initial recovery periods without proper management techniques being implemented timely and correctly. 

By getting prompt medical attention after experiencing any head trauma or suspected concussion, individuals have the best chance of making a full recovery without serious long-term consequences associated with more severe injuries due to suboptimal concussion management practices.

Headaches courtesy of Momentum Health – Deerfoot (Read the caption)

How does physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage therapy help concussion?

Physiotherapy is often recommended as one of the first lines of treatment given its ability to target range-of-motion issues and promote body awareness.

It can also work to reduce muscle tension and soreness in the neck and shoulders, as these areas tend to be most impacted by a concussion. Assessment by a physiotherapist using Frenzel goggles and oculomotor testing can help identify dysfunctions in the visual and vestibular systems. Treatment involving guided return to activity, visual and vestibular exercises can then be prescribed to address the individual impairments. 

Treatment is tailored to each patient’s specific needs and gradually progresses towards restoring normal movement and strength levels. Chiropractic care is another option used by those suffering from a concussion; it focuses on promoting spinal health so that optimal head positioning can be achieved without straining any muscles. 

Manual manipulation of this area is helpful for reducing inflammation and relieving headaches or other neurological conditions associated with concussions. Finally, massage therapy is known for its ability to help decrease stress hormones and improve blood circulation, both beneficial after experiencing a head injury. Together, these three treatments may offer a complete concussion recovery solution to those affected by this traumatic incident.

Physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage therapy are all effective treatments for concussions. There are many treatments available for concussions, so don’t hesitate to seek help. Book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists by using the search box on this page to find one near you.

Written by Kristen Hunter, PT, Vestibular Physiotherapist with Momentum Health


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to concussion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each case of concussion is unique and requires individualized care. Generally speaking, the most common type of concussions typically heal on their own in 7-10 days with proper rest and recovery. However, more severe cases may require specialized medical treatment for a full recovery.

Mild concussion, also known as a concussion without loss of consciousness, is still considered a serious injury. It can cause physical and mental impairments that may last for days or weeks after the initial injury occurs.

If you suspect that someone has suffered a concussion, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. While it may not be necessary to go directly to the emergency room (ER) for concussion treatment, an ER should be the first point of contact in most cases. The ER doctor can evaluate and diagnose a concussion, then refer the patient to a concussion clinic or specialist if needed.

About Kristen Hunter

Kristen realized her passion for rehabilitation after sustaining an ACL injury as a minor soccer player. As a result, she is able to appreciate first hand the effect therapy can have on recovery. Kristen received her Masters of Science in Physiotherapy in 2015 from the University of Alberta and her Bachelor of Kinesiology in 2012 from the University of Calgary. Kristen has worked in a variety of physiotherapy settings, but has a special interest in vestibular, concussion and orthopedic rehabilitation. Kristen has completed additional training in dizziness, balance, and concussion assessment/treatment and uses Frenzel goggles to assess advanced vestibular conditions. She has completed level II and III Upper for the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s Diploma of Advanced Orthopaedic Manual and Manipulation courses. Kristen’s treatment philosophy is to provide physiotherapy grounded in research and exercise to bring you the dedicated one on one approach you deserve. Outside the clinic Kristen enjoys curling, golfing and chasing her family around the playground.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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