A concussion is a type of injury to the brain caused by a hit, jolt or bump to the head. A blow to the body or severe shaking of the body (like whiplash) can also cause a concussion, because it causes the brain to bounce or twist in the skull.
A concussion – which is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) – can damage brain cells. Multiple concussions can be especially dangerous. Whether mild or severe, any type of concussion requires medical diagnosis and treatment.
At Aurora Health Care, our doctors and athletic trainers receive ongoing training in concussion diagnosis and treatment. We’ll help you choose the right treatment option and let you know when it’s safe to return to sports and other activities.
No two athletes experience concussion in the same way. Our expertise helps us tailor care to meet your needs.
We treat athletes of all ages and help you get back into the swing of everyday life after concussion – including your favorite sports. Highlights of our program include:
You’d think that a concussion, which can cause brain injury, would have obvious physical signs. But not everyone experiences obvious effects – like losing consciousness – when they have a concussion.
Any time you hit your head, you should consider seeing a doctor. Treatment can help you return to your everyday activities and prevent additional damage to your brain.
If you or your child might have a concussion, call a doctor or go to the emergency room if you notice any of these signs:
To diagnose a concussion, our athletic trainers or primary care sports medicine doctors will:
We may also examine the physical structure of your brain to look for injuries. Most often, we’ll use a computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain to do this. This test uses a series of X-rays to present a full picture of your brain.
Learn more about orthopedic diagnosis at Aurora.
For most people with a concussion or traumatic brain injury, rest is needed to help the brain heal. You may need to take a break from sports for about 10 days. You might also need to avoid mentally tiring activities like using a computer or reading. Some people require longer rest or additional treatment.
Be especially careful to avoid additional blows or hits during your recovery. Repeated brain injuries can cause more severe problems.
Wait for your doctor’s approval before you go back to sports or other physical activities, and go slowly. After all, healing your brain is a lifelong investment – take your time.
If symptoms don’t go away or get worse, there’s still hope. At Aurora, you’ll have access to a large team of experts who provide specialized care for advanced concussions.
Advanced concussion care may include:
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) provides specific return-to-play guidelines for coaches, athletes and families. For your well-being, follow these rules before taking up sports again after a head injury:
Get more information about WIAA concussion guidelines.