At Broadview Spine & Health Centre some frequent causes of concussion we see are from events involving sports and recreation, slip and falls, workplace incidents and motor vehicle accidents.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head. The sudden movement causes the brain to bounce around or twist inside the skull. This leads to stretching and damaging of brain cells and causes chemical changes in the brain.
According to Brain Injury Canada, acquired brain injuries (ABIs) currently affect about 1.5 million Canadians, and every year another 160,000 people experience an ABI. These rates continue to rise as more Canadians are experiencing and reporting incidents of ABIs.
Among children and youth, concussions make up 93% of the sports and recreation-related brain injuries that are reported to Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP). Contact sports such as hockey, rugby and ringette were the most common activities with reported concussions. From youth leagues to professional sports concussions are very prominent in contact sports.
Equestrian sport/horseback riding followed in the non-contact sports-related injuries. Sledding and skating are also activities that can result in head injuries.
Slips and Falls Head Injuries
Accidental slips and falls are another leading cause of concussions. Not surprisingly in Ottawa, hazards associated with ice and snow can pose an increased risk. Everyday activities like walking on slippery sidewalks, driving and shopping can become more dangerous in winter. But slips and falls can occur under any circumstance, whether you trip on uneven ground, on the sidewalk, fall in the home, trip over cords, slip in the shower or on a wet floor.
Workplace Head Injuries
The main causes of work-related concussion vary by industry and occupation. Statistics reveal that the number of time-loss claims for work-related concussions increased by 371% in Ontario from 2004 to 2013. This increase is likely due in part to increased reporting and awareness of this injury.
In Canada, the highest rates of workplace concussions are in the transportation, storage, government, and primary industries such as forestry, fishing, and mining. The most common causes are falls, being struck by or against an object, and motor vehicle collisions.
Concussions From Motor Vehicle Accidents
The Brain Injury Society of Toronto found that motor vehicle accidents account for more than 50% of all ABIs. In a serious collision, a person may hit their head on hard parts of the car causing a damaging blow through blunt force trauma. However, many people do not realize that it is possible to have a concussion from whiplash, or rapid rotation, or shaking of the head. As a result, many victims do not get the medical attention they should.
Parachute, a leading injury-prevention organization in Canada, emphasizes the need to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion and to seek medical attention immediately after an incident. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care notes that without proper management, a concussion can result in permanent or severe brain damage.
Do you think you have a concussion?
Concussions are usually not life-threatening, but they can cause serious symptoms that require medical treatment. Whatever the cause of concussion, the bottom line is the importance of seeking medical advice and help.
Broadview Health Centre is an Advanced Concussion Clinic in Ottawa. We offer dozens of treatments & testing to provide you with proper medical care. If you think you are suffering from a concussion, request an appointment today.