Concussion Program at Legacy Health

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions are typically caused by a bump or jolt to the head, but also by a fall or a blow to the body that makes the head and brain move quickly back and forth. Concussions are usually not life-threatening, and most people with a concussion make a quick and full recovery. However, the effects of a concussion can be serious, and can last for weeks or even longer.

It may take longer for older adults, young children, and teens to recover. If you've had a concussion before, you are at higher risk of having another one, and may also take longer to recover.

When to go to the ER for a concussion or suspected concussion

Our services

Legacy's concussion program specializes in pre-concussion assessments, computerized concussion evaluation system (ImPACT) and post-concussion evaluation and care of children and adults. 

If you are still having symptoms more than a few weeks after your concussion, talk with your doctor about seeing a specialist in post-concussion rehabilitation and recovery. Physiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and athletic trainers assess and treat people who have problems with balance, dizziness, thinking and remembering. They can also provide post-concussion training for a safe return to school, work, sports and play. 

Legacy Medical Group - Sports Medicine: 503-672-6080


  1. Concussion information for parents

    Concussion signs and symptoms


    A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). A concussion is usually caused by a bump or jolt to the head. But, you can also get a concussion from falling or any impact that makes your head and brain move quickly back and forth. This impact or shaking can change how your brain normally works.  It’s important to know that concussions can occur even when a child does not lose consciousness – only about 10% of kids actually do. A concussion is usually not life-threatening. Even so, its effects can be serious.

    Thinking/
    remembering

    Physical

    Emotional/
    mood

    Sleep

    Difficulty thinking clearly

    Headache

    Fuzzy or blurry vision

    Irritability

    Sleeping more than usual

    Feeling slowed down

    Nausea or vomiting
    (early on)

    Dizziness

    Sadness

    Sleep less than usual

    Difficulty concentrating

    Sensitivity to noise or light

    Balance problems

    More emotional

    Trouble falling asleep

    Difficulty remembering new information

    Feeling tired, having no energy

    Nervousness or anxiety

     



    Your child may have some of these symptoms right away. They may not have others for days or weeks after the injury, or until they go back to doing their everyday activities.

    What do I do if I think my child might have a sports-related concussion?

    1. Remove the athlete from playing. If an athlete gets a bump or blow to their head or body, look for concussion signs and symptoms. When in doubt, remove the athlete from playing.
    2. Make sure the athlete is seen by a doctor who knows about concussion. Do not try to judge the injury yourself. Doctors have methods they use to assess the concussion severity. 
    3. Don’t not let the athlete play again until a doctor says they can. A concussion occurring before the brain recovers from the first can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. This usually happens within a short period of time: hours, days or weeks. In rare cases, repeat concussions can lead to edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage and even death.

    In most cases, symptoms are mild and the best course is to for the child to see their doctor as soon as possible. There are some symptoms that appear with a more serious injury to the brain.

    Go to the emergency room if your child:

    • Has a headache that gets worse and won’t go away 
    • Is weak, numb or losing coordination
    • Is nauseous and vomiting 
    • Has slurred speech
    • Looks very drowsy or won’t wake up
    • Has one pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) that is larger than the other
    • Has convulsions or seizures (arms or legs are jerking uncontrollably)
    • Has difficulty understanding directions
    • Can’t recognize people or places
    • Behaves unusually, seems confused, restless or agitated
    • Loses consciousness, even for a short time
    • Won’t stop crying and can’t be consoled
    • Won’t nurse or eat

    Recovering from a concussion

    Resting is important! After a concussion, your child should rest for at least 24 hours. Healing takes time, they may need more rest than this. 

    Use these tips to help your child rest their brain and recover from concussion:
    Make sure they get enough rest. Keep them on a regular sleep schedule. No late nights or sleepovers, schoolwork, homework or use of technology (computers, tablets, TV, video games, cell phones and headphones) until cleared by their pediatrician.
    • Limit loud noises and loud music (no headphones). No parties, concerts, pep rallies, etc.
    • Do not allow your child to be around bright lights.
    • Make sure your child does not do anything involving high risk or speed or that might cause a blow to the head or body. 
    • Do not allow your child to drive or work until cleared by their pediatrician.
    • Give your child only drugs that are approved by their doctor. Don’t use aspirin or ibuprofen for headaches. Only use acetaminophen (Tylenol).

    Returning to school and sports

    A child who has had a concussion should not return to school until their doctor says they can. Before returning to sports, your child should be completely free of symptoms and participating in school fully. Once cleared by their doctor, your child should return to activities gradually. It would be best to have a certified athletic trainer supervise your child during this time. If your child starts to show any signs the concussion has returned, the brain might not have healed yet. Have your child stop doing activities or reduce their school and homework load.

    How long will signs and symptoms last?


    With rest and gradual return to activity symptoms should resolve within 1-2 weeks. If your child still has symptoms after 2-3 weeks, their doctor may refer them to a specialist, such as a neurologist, neuropsychologist, neurosurgeon, sports medicine doctor or rehabilitation specialist or to a concussion program, such as Legacy Health’s Concussion Services.