Video: ReThinking Concussions – Be Aware of Signs/Symptoms (Part 5)
The UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program is dedicated to educating players, coaches, certified athletic trainers, and parents about the signs and symptoms of concussion. Dr. Micky Collins reviews with Hannah Storm the signs and symptoms every parent should watch for in this video.
Read the full transcript from ReThinking Concussions: Be Aware of Signs/Symptoms, with Hannah Storm and Micky Collins, PhD:
Hannah Storm: We always hear about athletes who don’t want to come out of the game. They’re so competitive. We hear a lot about this at the Pro level. Sometimes they might not be forthcoming with the symptoms that they’re experiencing. Is it possible to get around that, and navigate that?
Dr. Collins: It is, and I’m seeing less and less of it. But I’m also seeing patients that didn’t know that feeling foggy was a symptom of concussion, or feeling dizzy was a symptom of concussion.
Hannah Storm: So, they have to be asked the right questions.
Dr. Collins: And then some people don’t know that you may feel it worse later on after the injury, you know in the car ride home, or studying for calculus after. It’s a very … It’s not like you have a cast on your head. It’s not like there’s any outward sign in this a lot of times. It can be very subtle. And the subtle ones can actually get a lot worse if it’s not managed properly. So there’s a lot of education we have to do to parents, to educate them on what this injury really is, and how it presents, and the subtleties that it can show up at.
Hannah Storm: So would you encourage parents of athletes just to have an ongoing dialogue, and if something kind of a little bit different seems to be happening, to think about concussion as a possibility?
Dr. Collins: Yes, and I also really … You know we have a great website. rethinkconcussions.com, it’s very informative. People need to go to the right sources of information. The Centers for Disease Control have a very good website for concussion. You know, there’s actually state laws now educating parents on concussion, which is a good thing. So there are educational resources out there for parents, but yeah. Have a conversation with your child. And if they’re more tired at the end of the day, or having a hard time with focus and concentration, even mood changes can be concussion, headaches
Hannah Storm: I was going to say, a little bit of depression maybe, or some kind of … I mean, emotionally it can manifest itself, right?
Dr. Collins: We see a lot of anxiety in concussion.
Hannah Storm: Anxiety.
Dr. Collins: There’s some actual relationships between the vestibular system and mood, where it kind of triggers difficulty turning thoughts off, rumination, panic-type symptoms, anxiety-type symptoms. We see a lot of that in our clinic.
Hannah Storm: So what’s the bottom line? What’s the take-away?
Dr. Collins: Bottom line is that we have learned a lot about concussion. We know how to assess it, we know what questions to ask, we know what the risk factors are, we know how it presents. And that we actually have treatments to get patients better from this, very active treatments. You don’t have to retreat to a dark room. We have targeted ways of getting people better from this. And it’s a treatable injury. I think that’s the most important point that parents need to understand.
Hannah Storm: So you can get back to your life. You can get back to your sport. And you don’t have to be afraid. Cautious, but not afraid.
Dr. Collins: I agree with that, Hannah. I think cautious but not afraid is a really good way of putting it. Sports are a wonderful thing. If you come to our clinic and you have an injury, the great, great majority of the time we can get you back into the sport you love, and you’re going to be able to pay and be healthy. I think that’s a conversation that hasn’t really occurred recently with this injury, and I think it needs to.
Hannah Storm: You can go on with your life. It’s not hopeless.
Dr. Collins: Absolutely.