Separating concussion facts from fiction

blog-121113-concussionThe definition of a concussion continues to evolve as doctors and researchers learn more about the brain and brain injuries. With all the information available, it’s important to distinguish fact from fiction.

“A concussion is now defined as any blow to the head that causes a change in thinking,” said Dr. Craig DiTommaso, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. DiTommaso helps dispel common myths about concussions.

Myth: Everyone will have long-term damage after a concussion

Fact: This is definitely not true – there is little evidence to link long-term damage to concussions at this time except in extreme circumstances.

Myth: All concussions resolve quickly

Fact: Some people tend to be more at risk for problems with concentration, thinking, sleep and headaches after concussions and require prolonged rehabilitation. Others recover quickly without any issues or medical intervention. At this time, we don’t know why this is the case.

Myth: A normal brain scan rules out a concussion

Fact: We have no imaging methods that can definitively diagnose concussions at this time.

Myth: Losing consciousness defines a concussion

Fact: This is no longer true – you do not have to lose consciousness for it to be considered a concussion.

Myth: Male athletes involved in contact sports are the only ones to get concussions, especially football players

Fact: Although those who play contact sports are at high risk, men and women who play other sports including soccer are also at very high risk of getting concussions. Other common causes of concussions outside of sports include falls and motor vehicle accidents.

Myth: There is a standard program for recovering from a concussion    

Fact: No, everyone needs to be evaluated as an individual with their individual symptoms taken into consideration to determine a treatment plan.

Read more about concussions and recovery.

Know the symptoms of a concussion.

For appointments with Dr. DiTommaso, call 713-798-4061.

-By Dipali Pathak

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