In a battle, it is important to know who and what you are fighting against; therefore let’s dissect the root causes of a concussion and how it affects the recipient. The word concussion comes from the Latin word concutere, which means “to shake violently”, hence a concussion is caused by a sudden jolt, shake, or hit to the head. Olseun Olufade, a neuromusculoskeletal medicine specialist at Emory Healthcare and my former doctor, describes a concussion best. He says that a disturbance from a concussion injury results in the need for more energy to reestablish balance of the brain. The need for this increased energy occurs simultaneously with the decreased blood flow due to the concussion. This results in an imbalance between decreased blood needed and increased energy required for the brain to heal. If the brain does not completely resolve and an athlete sustains a second injury, this can lead into worsening cognitive deficits. Thus, the aftermath of the hit can result in a multitude of symptoms, the most common being headaches. Symptoms may also include sleep disturbance and fatigue, behavior and mood symptoms, cognitive complaints, visual changes, hearing and light disturbances, and coordination/balance complaints. The greater number, severity, and duration of symptoms after a concussion increases the likelihood for a more prolonged recovery. For this reason, physicians will often order their patients to avoid symptom triggers and rest as much as possible during the first few weeks of recovery. Rest is the best form of medicine.
It is also important to understand that each concussion is unique to another, though it may have taken two weeks for your friend’s concussion to heal it may take longer for yours. The key is to never give up, concussions do not last forever and soon enough you will be healed and will move forward with your life.