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Concussion Care & Management

Concussions are usually associated with football, soccer and other contact sports. They can also occur during vehicle accidents, falls, and other everyday tasks. Consult a doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of a concussion.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by impact to the head or neck. This can occur during sports, a fall, or another injury. The impact traumatizes the brain. Experiencing a concussion doesn’t always result in loss of consciousness. Concussion may occur without obvious symptoms such as dizziness, memory loss, or nausea and vomiting.

The brain is more susceptible to damage after a concussion, so it’s important to avoid activities that may cause further impact to the head. Because of severe health reasons, concussion care and management should be a top priority of athletic trainers, parents, and individuals experiencing a concussion.

VSMD Approach to Concussion Care & Management

 In-office evaluation to include a comprehensive history and physical exam


Computer based concussion testing (CNS Vital Signs web based testing)


Concussion Treatment Plan


Monitored recovery through follow-up visits


Individualized “Return-to-Play” plan

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Concussion Injury - Signs to Look for

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Concussion Symptoms



Fatigue or drowsiness


Confusion or fogginess


Dizziness or “seeing stars”


Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event


Nausea, vomiting


Ringing in the ears, blurry vision


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A Witness May Observe

Temporary loss of consciousness


Slurred speech


Delayed response to questions


Dazed appearance


Forgetfulness, such as repeatedly asking the same questions


Fatigue or drowsiness

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Symptoms after few days

Concentration and memory impairments


Irritability or other personality changes


Sensitivity to light and noise 


Sleep disturbances


Psychological adjustment problems and depression


Altered taste or smell


Concussion Details

Concussion is a brain injury that is common in many sports (contact and collision sports with the highest numbers), motor vehicle accidents, and trauma (such as from falls or being hit in the head). In sports, football, wrestling, hockey, and soccer have the highest risk of concussion. A concussion occurs due to direct impact of the head or through an indirect force that affects the head and neck. A concussion is like a brain bruise. The size of the injury and the symptoms produced from injury depend on the degree and location of impact. However, the strength of the force causing concussion does not always equal the severity of symptoms. For example, an athlete who is shoved from behind may sustain a concussion and have many symptoms while an athlete who has direct head impact with another player may have only minor symptoms of concussion. 

Symptoms of concussion may be very subtle or severe. They may include headache, dizziness, nausea, irritability and difficulty concentrating, balance issues, vision issues, or sleep disturbances. Activities such as school work, reading, watching TV, driving, or exercising can make symptoms worse.

If there is a concern for concussion, then an evaluation is necessary.

The doctor will determine the severity of injury.


In sports, the common question is… “When can I return to play?” The doctor will work closely with the athlete (or non-athlete) to determine a safe return to play and activity plan.


This plan is different for everyone. It may be as short as a few days or take many weeks.


The important thing to remember is that your health, especially your brain health, needs to be the priority in your treatment plan.

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concussion care

Contact VSMD for an evaluation if you're experiencing concussion symptoms

Virginia Sports Medicine Doctors are specialty trained to diagnose and treat concussions.