Head trauma and concussions, in general, can happen to adults and children alike. There are different ways in which traumatic brain injuries can happen. It could occur due to a direct physical blow to the head, falling on the ground or a car accident, among the many possibilities.

However, concussions can also happen even when there is no direct blow to the head. In some cases, a concussion can happen even with sudden movements or jolts, which makes it hard to detect them. Additionally, even when caused by a direct blow to the head, most concussions don’t lead to loss of consciousness.

Furthermore, each concussion is different, and not all people have the same symptoms. The best way to recognize and see the extent of a concussion is to get a neurological exam by a clinical neuroscience practitioner. Here is what you can expect.

Examination for Physical Injuries

patient and doctor going over x-ray image of headThe first step when someone injures their head is to look for signs of physical impact on the scalp. This includes bruises, lacerations, scratches, and so on. This also might include unsynchronized pupil reaction, vomiting, and visual difficulties.

These are the most common indicators of a concussion when the patient has suffered a blow to the head. In a situation when the patient reports these issues, the practitioner will first do a physical exam to look for these signs.

Level of Consciousness Changes

One of the most important examinations every practitioner will do is asses whether or not the patient has an abnormal level of consciousness. These kinds of changes clearly indicate the presence of an inappropriate pathology. This assessment is done immediately after head trauma.

In some cases, it can be done on an ongoing basis to monitor the progress or regress of the condition. In most cases, the patient needs to go through this 3 days in a row after they’ve suffered trauma.

Neurological Assessments

patient with head injury next to ambulance

There are many types of neurological assessment licenses practitioners will do with their patients. Neurological assessments are the best way of recognizing and analyzing concussions. In most cases, doctors will use a special brain imaging techniques like CT or MRI scans to look for brain abnormalities.

However, these imagining techniques are often infective in recognizing concussions or their consequences. The reason for this is that most lesions in the brain caused by a blow are too small to be picked up by these scans.

This is why neurological assessments are a must as they can show how the system is working as a whole and how extensive the damages are. Here are some of the most common and minimal assessments:

  • doctor getting blood pressure readingPupil size assessment
  • Pupil reactivity assessment
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Handgrip strength assessment
  • Balance exercises and assessments
  • Pulse measurements
  • Respiration assessment

In most cases, these neurological assessments last around an hour. They are non-invasive and don’t involve any brain stimulants. Sometimes people might not feel any initial symptoms after a traumatic brain injury. This is why it’s generally a good idea to visit a practitioner and go through the examination to make sure everything is in good order.

Broadview Can Help with Concussion Treatment in Ottawa

If you’ve been in an accident or have suffered a head injury through contact or other means, we can help.

Contact us today using the form below to book your first appointment, or to ask us questions and find out more about concussion treatment in Ottawa.