Sports & Concussions

Concussions are fairly common in the sporting world – more prevalent in some sports than others. For both recreational and professional athletes alike, sports concussions often go undiagnosed and the dangers of suffering multiple concussions can exacerbate the concussion symptoms and potentially induce more severe and permanent damage. Most commonly, sports related concussions occur in contact sports (football, hockey, or soccer) and are caused by a sudden blow to the head, however, concussions also occur in sports that you wouldn’t consider contact sports like skiing, gymnastics, or volleyball.

The severity of concussions can vary based on specific situations, the sport, the individual, and the level of competition. Although sports related concussions are not commonly life-threatening, they can induce some very severe symptoms that if not dealt with can worse over time, especially with repeated sports concussions. The movement of the brain that is caused from a sudden impact in sports can lead to the death of brain cells, damage of vital nerves, and can create chemical changes in the brain that can significantly affect your day to day life.

If you suspect that you might have a concussion, or know that you have one, the smart choice is to properly heal and understand what you’re going through before even thinking about competing in sports again. Luckily, Broadview Spine & Health Centre has proven methods of easing concussion symptoms and providing effective treatments for sports concussions and all other brain related injuries.

a football collision that will likely result in a sports concussion


diagnosing a concussion


To ensure safe return to sport and to avoid the dangers of repeated sports concussions, it’s important to understand the symptoms of a concussion. Competitive athletes and professional athletes might have the support staff to administer a concussion baseline test – a test which is used to test their regular brain function (memory, concentration, problem solving, eye tracking etc.) and compare the results following a blow to the head that could have potentially resulted in a concussion. If you don’t have access to such equipment or are a recreational athlete, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of the symptoms that occur throughout a concussion and the concussion recovery period. Common concussion symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache or “pressure” in the head
  • Difficulties with balance
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling fatigued, drowsy, or sluggish
  • Trouble with memory or concentration

No two concussions are the same and everybody will experience different severity and different effects from a concussion, but these are common symptoms that you may exhibit if you’ve recently been concussed. All concussion symptoms can be categorized under 3 main components: Physiologic (injury at a cellular or neuron level), Vestibulo-Ocular (impairment of visual and balance system), and Cerviogenic (damage to structure of the neck). It’s important to note that concussion symptoms don’t always appear immediately following the impact. If you’ve suffered a recent blow to the head or a sudden impact playing sports, come see our specialists at Broadview Health & Spine Centre to get a proper evaluation for any concussion symptoms. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Recovery from Multiple Concussions


Multiple concussions don’t necessarily involve different symptoms from those who have experience a single concussion, but the severity and duration of those same symptoms can increase significantly. The long term effects of multiple concussions are actually quite concerning from evaluating professional athletes past their athletic careers. Many football, boxing, and hockey athletes who have experienced multiple concussions suffer from permanent memory loss, long-term headaches, balance and dizziness issues, along with vision and hearing complications as well.

Multiple concussions are often caused from negligence in understanding how severe concussions symptoms can be long-term, no measurement or testing systems, and not getting properly diagnosed following an initial concussion. To reduce the likelihood of the permanent effects from multiple concussions, it’s important to:

  • Get a proper diagnosis following your first concussion
  • Understand and report all concussion symptoms
  • Listen to your doctor’s advice and to your body
  • DO NOT return to sports until you have been cleared to compete

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TMI’s) should not be taken lightly, especially in settings where concussions are likely to happen again. A professional diagnosis and treatment should be sought immediately.

a medical professional evaluating a female soccer player for multiple sports concussions
Dr. Joseph O.M. Lawrence diagnosing a concussion at Broadview Health Center


If you’ve recently suffered a head injury from a sporting event, and you think you might have a sports concussion, it’s important to seek medical and professional attention as soon as possible. The sooner you are properly diagnosed and have a treatment plan in place, the smoother and faster the recovery process will be.

At Broadview Spine & Health Centre in Ottawa, we are leaders in treating concussions, especially those related to sports. Some of our proven recovery methods and treatments include:

To avoid the permanent damage and dangers of multiple concussions, it’s important to treat and heal your existing symptoms before returning to play. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to diagnose your concussion and to develop a concussion treatment plan for your sports concussion.

Frequently asked questions

Sustaining a single concussion, in many cases, results in a straight-forward recovery with few complications. However, for those who have suffered multiple concussions, especially when the original has not fully healed, the recovery time can grow exponentially. Take care during recovery as while you might feel better, the concussion could still need time to fully heal.

  • We utilize quantifiable concussion evaluation tools
  • We measure eye movements and balance
  • We take care to ensure your recovery is objective, not subjective

A major side effect from sustaining a concussion injury is cervicogenic pain or headaches, which is focused in the neck area. The challenge for doctors is neck pain does not always point to a problem within the neck, but could be a result of spine or eye misalignment.

  • Concussions cause eye misalignment, leading to head tilt
  • Neck pain is a flag for helping identify contributing issues
  • Our treatment is built to help protect your long-term recovery

A common symptom for those who have suffered concussions and experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome includes fatigue. Fatigue can come from many different factors. However, concussions build fatigue symptoms on a cellular level from the damage sustained in a concussion, interrupting your body’s ability to build and use energy.

  • Fatigue from concussions is a result from calcium leaks
  • Other fatigue could stem from problems with thyroids or anemia
  • Fatigue problems can take some time to fully recover from

Post-concussion syndrome is a complex condition that requires a lot of care and time to fully recover from. You could experience significant fatigue, inability to effectively concentrate, headaches, poor balance, and loss of fine motor control. These and more are the result of concussion damage to three major areas in your body, which all require the care our clinic can provide:

  • Physical damage the cell wall of the brain
  • Damage to the motor systems of the eyes and balance
  • Cervucigenic symptoms such as pain in the neck

Broadview Health Centre offers specialized equipment and technology that helps us diagnose problems and treat them effectively in regards to concussions and other mild-traumatic brain injuries. These tools are a mix of physical tests and electrical monitors working in tandem to give evaluations of the body’s control over balance and motor control, giving us invaluable information on a patents condition by:

  • Evaluating the body’s ability to balance on flat and uneven surfaces
  • Balance when a patents head is turning in various directions
  • Building information on how a concussion effects an individual

Broadview Spine & Health Centre utilized state of the art diagnosis equipment to allow us to gain quality information on how to approach treatment to every patent’s unique symptoms. A Videonystagmography allows us to get a fine-tuned reading of eye movements on video and with graphical representation.

  • Helps us identify where damage is located in the brain
  • Helps develop a customized program for the patient
  • Provides conclusive evidence for brain injury symptoms

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