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A concussion can be simply defined as a disruption in neurological functioning following a significant acceleration or deceleration of the brain; typically as result of an impact to the head or elsewhere on the body. However, it is important to understand that a concussion injury can occur WITHOUT a hit to the head provided a significant enough force was transmitted through the body. The brain disturbance causes a biochemical imbalance within brain cells as well as decreased blood flow and temporary energy deficits within the brain.


Signs or symptoms related to a concussion related brain injury may include any one or more of the following:

  • Loss of consciousness (Not necessarily - over 90% of concussions DO NOT result in a loss of consciousness)

  • Headache

  • Pressure in the head

  • Neck pain

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Blurred vision

  • Balance problems

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Sensitivity to noise

  • Feeling slowed down

  • Feeling of "fogginess"

  • Not feeling right or feeling off

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Difficulty remembering

  • Fatigue or low energy

  • Confusion

  • Drowsiness

  • Trouble falling asleep

  • More emotional

  • Irritability

Following a suspected concussion, a player should be immediately removed from play, assessed and placed on complete rest in order to recover from the energy deficit. Studies have shown that any activity, both mental and physical, in the immediate days following concussion can delay the process of recovery and should be avoided until the athlete is completely symptom free.

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