man suffers sports concussion

Have you ever heard the terms “Grade 1 concussion,” “Grade 2 concussion” or “Grade 3 concussion” before?

Did you wonder what this “grade” refers to?

Concussions are a complex and sometimes misunderstood form of mild traumatic brain injury – though not all concussions are mild. The scale of concussion degree can range from mild to severe.

In this edition of the Ottawa Concussion Clinic blog, we’ll give a rundown of the concussion grading system, what each concussion grade means and how it affects you or someone close to you who has suffered concussion.

The Concussion Grading System

There’s an adage in concussion treatment that goes, “no two concussions are like.”

It’s true – every concussion patient has a different experience with their concussion journey, with regard to:

  • Concussion symptoms
  • Degree of concussion
  • Concussion recovery time
  • Long-term effects of concussion

doctor sees man with sports concussion

It’s the second one, degree of concussion, on which we’re largely focusing today.

Degree of concussion is determined by a concussion grading system that is generally accepted around the world by doctors and providers of concussion treatment.

The concussion grading system goes as follows:

  • Grade 1 Concussion – Mild Concussion
  • Grade 2 Concussion – Moderate Concussion
  • Grade 3 Concussion – Severe Concussion

What do each of these concussion grades mean? How are they defined? Read on to find out!

Degrees of Concussion – At the Time of Injury and Beyond

When a concussion is incurred, both the immediate impact and the duration can vary greatly.

Grade 1 Concussion – Minor Concussions, Many Symptoms Can Persist

In a Grade 1 Concussion, a loss of consciousness does NOT occur. The person suffering the concussion can experience some or all of the following concussion symptoms in the minutes, hours and days following the concussion injury:

  • woman resting after concussionHeadache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty focusing

Grade 1 concussions tend to occur most frequently in minor (relatively speaking) car accidents and sports injuries.

Grade 2 Concussion – Mid-Grade Concussions with Enhanced Symptoms

The symptom a Grade 2 Concussion can be similar, but the degree and duration of this concussion tend to be higher. Grade 2 Concussion symptoms include the possible symptoms of a Grade 1 concussion, as well as:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Momentary amnesia
  • Irritability

Many people suffering a Grade 2 Concussion experience a temporary loss of consciousness, for as little as a few seconds and possibly up to several minutes.

Grade 3 Concussion – A Severe Concussion, Lasting Longer with Greater Impact

A Grade 3 Concussion is generally considered the most severe of this type of traumatic brain injury.

woman resting after concussion

As in Grade 2 concussions, the patient who suffers a Grade 3 Concussion be unconscious – but for even longer, even more than five minutes.

Similar symptoms to concussions of grades 1 & 2 can occur; on top of these are:

  • Amnesia for 24 hours or more
  • Seeing stars
  • Vomiting

Grade 3 Concussions carry the highest risk for long-term or even permanent concussion symptoms. The recovery time for this concussion is also longer, up to two weeks or more.

Seek Immediate Medical Treatment for Any Concussion!

If you suspect that you or someone else has suffered a concussion, no matter how mild it may seem, please seek immediate medical attention at your nearest Emergency Room or nearby clinic or medical facility. Call 9-1-1.

How Broadview Treats Concussions in Ottawa

At our Ottawa concussion clinic, we treat concussions with the proven approach of chiropractic neurology using a holistic approach.

We do not use a cookie-cutter process for concussions, as every concussion is different. Rather we investigate and assess further, asking questions and arriving at a more in-depth concussion diagnosis to develop your customized plan of concussion treatment at our Ottawa clinic.

Contact us today to find out more and to book your first appointment at the Broadview concussion clinic in Ottawa.