A sports concussion is a medical condition that should be taken seriously. This condition most often results from hitting your head on the ground or on a hard object or hitting another player while playing a contact sport. People who experience a concussion often have symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, vomiting, or nausea. Plus, they may have side-effects that affect their behavior, sensations, or brain function.
There are two important points to stress about sports concussions:
- This condition is far more serious than just bumping your head. Research has shown that there may be serious behavioral, physical, and cognitive changes in the future for those who have had multiple concussions, referred to as post-concussive syndrome.
- You should not return to playing the sport the same day as your concussion. This is especially true for children under the age of 19. There could be serious side effects, sometimes fatal, if an athlete who has had a concussion ends up playing with symptoms and then has a second concussion. An athlete should not return to play if they still have symptoms after hitting their head, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. For more information, check out our Facts about Concussion and Brain Injury flyer (PDF).
For these reasons, we created the Sports Concussion Program at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center to help assess and manage athletes who have a concussion, with a focus on safe return to play.
- Concussion management: The first 24 to 48 hours after injury, you should allow your brain to rest, physically, and mentally. After 48 hours, return to some physical and mental activities may help with healing, although we do not recommend full return to sports until cleared by a healthcare provider. We recommend having an appointment with your primary care provider 24 to 72 hours after injury for initial management. If concussion symptoms persist beyond 2 weeks post injury or you would like to talk about returning to sports after a concussion, please give our office a call to set up an appointment.
- Return to play clearance: Some schools, sporting programs, and camps require medical clearance to return to play after sustaining a concussion. We can help with that!
To make an appointment with us for concussion management, please call the Lebanon Sports Concussion Program.
- Lebanon, New Hampshire
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center